By Alan Paape
Last week, the St. Xavier Cougars rebounded from their homecoming loss with a huge, impressive 45-7 victory over Sienna Heights University. This week, the Cougars looked to continue their winning ways on the road against the Taylor University Trojans of Upland, Indiana.
Last season when these two teams met, the Cougars had their highest scoring output of the season and won by the score of 75-33. The St. Xavier University offense would open up the game on the offensive side of the ball for the second straight week, and the Cougar offense would fail to produce anything on their opening drive. Jimmy Coy threw an interception which ended the Cougars’ first offensive drive of the game.
The Cougar defense came out on the field and picked up where they left off from last week. On the Trojans’ first offensive possession of the game, the Cougar defense forced one negative yardage play and two incompletions and a three and out.
On the very next Cougar s’offensive possession and on the very first play of that possession, Nick Pesek found a hole and rushed down the field for a 67-yard gain that set the Cougar offense up at the Trojan six yard line. Two plays later, Coy found Chase Catton in the end zone for a five-yard touchdown pass.
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The Cougar lead would not last long, on the very next possession the Trojan offense was led down the field by their quarterback, Nick Freeman. On the nine play, 89-yard touchdown drive Freeman completed six passes one of which was a 22-yard touchdown pass to tie the game.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Trojans caught the Cougars off guard and recovered an onside kick right at midfield. On the very next play for the Trojan offense, Freeman threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to give the Trojans the seven point lead.
Later on in the first quarter of play, the Trojan offense was at it again. Freeman drove the Trojan offense downfield 59-yards on five plays and threw his third touchdown of the day, increasing the Trojan lead to 14 points.
On the very next possession, the Cougar offense got back on track. Coy and the Cougar offense drove down the field 76-yards on nine plays. The drive was topped off with a 47-yard touchdown pass from Coy to Shane Zackery. Coy’s second touchdown of the day brought the Cougars to within seven points at the end of the first quarter of play.
The Cougars would go on to tie the game with just over three minutes to go in the first half when Coy found Nick DeBenedetti for a 24-yard touchdown pitch and catch. To end the first half of play, the Trojans added a field goal and took a three point lead going into the half.
The Cougars made some halftime adjustments and came out dominant in the second half of play. On the second Cougar offensive possession of the second half, Coy gave the Cougars back the lead throwing his fourth touchdown pass of the day, and the second of the day to Catton.
After stopping the Trojan offense on four straight plays, the Cougar offense took the field and scored once again, this time on a one-yard touchdown rush by Wes Gastel. The Cougars led by ten points.
Coy would finish the game by throwing three more touchdowns, a five yard strike to Catton, a 27-yard pass to Gastel, and a 60-yard bomb to Gastel. The Cougar offense scored 34 unanswered points in the second half of play and outscored the Trojans 34-7 in the second half and went on to win the game 55-31.
In the victory, Pesek became the Cougars all-time leading rusher with 1,979 yards, and Coy tied the individual and team record with seven touchdown passes in the game. The last and only time that the Cougars had seven touchdown passes in a single game was when Anthony Kropp accomplished this feat in 2009.
The Cougars improved to 6-1, and they will return home to Bruce. R Deaton Memorial field next Saturday to take on Concordia University. WXAV 88.3fm Chicago and wxav.com will have pre-game starting at 12:30 p.m. with kick-off at 1:00 p.m.