By Alan Paape
After coming off their biggest win of the season on November 3rd, against Marian University, at that time the number one team, the St. Xavier University Cougars finished off the regular season this past Saturday on the road against the Robert Morris University Eagles.
This past Saturday marked the first two times that these two teams met. One thing to take note of before this game started was that for the first time this season the Cougars would be playing on a real grass field, and not any type of field turf surface. For an hour before the game the rain came down hard in Arlington Heights, Illinois and the playing surface became extremely wet and muddy.
The Cougars received the opening kickoff and their offense would take the field first. On the very first drive of the game, it was obvious that the field conditions would be a factor in this game, many players on each side of the ball could not get good footing and players were slipping and falling down everywhere.
Even with the rough field conditions, the Cougars were able to drive down the field and score on their first offensive possession of the game when Jimmy Coy found Shane Zackery on a third and goal play in the end zone for a ten yard touchdown reception. This would be only the beginning of a big day for these two players.
The Cougars would not go on to score until their first drive of the second quarter when once again Coy found Zackeryin the end zone for a 35-yard touchdown. Coy’s second touchdown of the game capped off a six play, 61-yard scoring drive.
The Cougar defense played great once again and did not give up any points until just about the five minute mark of the second quarter, when Deshawn Weaver hauled in a 12-yard touchdown pass from Matt Westerkamp.
The Cougar offense would answer right back with a five play, 70-yard scoring drive. Coy would find Zackery in the end zone for their third touchdown connection of the day, this one from 16-yards out.
The Eagles would narrow the Cougar lead on their very next possession when their offense drove down the field and was able to put another touchdown on the scoreboard before the end of the first half. The Eagles made it a one possession game after the touchdown and the score at the half was 21-13.
The St. Xavier defense came out of the halftime break fired up and on the Eagles first possession of the half the Cougars forced a fumble that was recovered by Greg Hayward. After the fumble, the Cougars were set up with great field position at the Eagle’s 36-yard line.
It would not take long for the Cougars to extend their halftime lead, less than two minutes after the fumble the Cougars found the end zone on Coy’s fourth touchdown pass on the afternoon. Coy found Chase Catton from six yards out to give the Cougars a 28-13 lead.
The Cougar defense would go on to only give up a late touchdown to Robert Morris at the end of the game when the Eagles connected on a short pass on fourth and goal. After they botched the two point conversion and the onside kick attempt failed, the Cougars would go on to run out the clock and improve to 9-1 on the season.
With the win, the Cougars stayed at number four in the NAIA Coaches Poll and guaranteed themselves two home playoff games. The Cougars’ next game will be against William Penn University on Saturday, November 17th at noon. WXAV 88.3FM and wxav.com will have all of your Cougar football action with pre-game beginning at 11:30 A.M.
For more news and sports on Saint Xavier University, visit www.thexavierite.com.