By: Alan Paape
After losing to the University of St. Francis Cougars on homecoming night on September 29, 2012, the St. Xavier Cougars fell to number six in the NAIA top 25 Poll and would not play another game until October 13, 2012. The opponent standing in their way last Saturday was Siena Heights University. This meeting between St. Xavier and Siena Heights was the first ever meeting between these two teams.
The Cougars offense got a big boost before last week’s game when Jimmy Coy returned to the field after not playing since the very first play of the October 22nd game against Trinity International University. The Cougars would open up the game on offense, but they only mustered up two yards while going three and out on their opening drive.
On the Siena Heights Saints’ first possession of the night, they punted the ball and downed it at the Cougar two yard line. On the very first play of the second, Cougar offensive drive Coy handed the ball off to Nick Pesek who almost broke off a huge touchdown run, but was taken down inside the Saints 20-yard line for a gain of 82-yards. Coy finished off the scoring drive with a seven yard touchdown pass to Chase Catton.
The St. Xavier offense would continue on their scoring ways later on in the first quarter when Coy capped off a four play 79-yard touchdown drive with a 27-yard screen pass to Nick Debenedetti. Coy’s second touchdown pass of the day gave the Cougars a 14 point lead at the end of the first quarter.
After a Saints’ punt, the Cougars offense picked up where it left off in the first quarter in the second quarter. On the Cougars’ first offensive possession of the second quarter, the Cougar offense drove down the field on nine plays and Pesek found the end zone on a two yard touchdown run to increase the Cougar lead to 21 points.
The Cougars defense continued their domination of the Saints as well, preventing the Saints from registering a single first down in the second quarter of play. On the other side of the ball, the Cougars offense continued their offensive outbreak.
Pesek continued his huge night with a 42-yard touchdown run, his second of the quarter. Pesek was not done just yet. Later on in the second quarter, Pesek found the end zone on an eleven yard touchdown run for his third touchdown of the second quarter. With this touchdown, Pesek tied the Cougars record for most rushing touchdowns in a single game. At the half, the Cougars led the Saints 35-0.
In the second half, the Cougars second unit offense and second unit defense played a majority of the time. With about eight minutes left in the third quarter of play, Spencer Nolan nailed a 23-yard field goal to increase the Cougars lead.
The only points the Cougars defense let up came after one of Joe Gill’s passes was tipped and intercepted by the Saints defense. The Saints offense was set up with their best field position of the day and they capitalized on it. In two plays, the Saints offense picked up 33-yards and a touchdown.
On the very next Cougars offensive possession, Gill answered back with a touchdown of his own when he found freshman Austin Feeney in the end zone on a 37-yard touchdown pitch and catch. This score would be the last score of the game and the Cougars would go on to win the game 45-7.
With the win, the Cougars improved to 5-1 on the season and stayed at number six in the NAIA top 25 rankings. The Cougars’ next game will be on the road against Taylor University in Upland, Indiana on Saturday, October 20th. The Cougars’ next home game will be on Saturday, October 27th when they take on Concordia University.