SXU coach Mike Feminis is two wins away from No. 300. Photo by Jeff Vorva

SXU coach Mike Feminis is two wins away from No. 300. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Pigskin Wrap: St. Xavier wins, moves Feminis within two of milestone

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By Jeff Vorva
Staff Writer

Saint Xavier lost its first two games by a combined score of 88-10.

The last thing the Cougars needed was for Siena Heights to come into Chicago and make itself at home.

But the Saints tried, scoring on their first drive and putting the Cougars in a hole.

This time, however, Saint Xavier responded quickly with a score and went on to win, 24-21, at Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field on Sept. 17 in a Mid-State Football Association crossover.

The win gives veteran coach Mike Feminis his 298th career triumph.

“I’ve been surrounded by a lot of good coaches and really good players,” Feminis said in a postgame video recorded by the school. “It also means I’m getting older.”

Some of those players helped make the comeback for the Cougars (1-2) a reality. That included Defensive standout Kevin Countryman, who had two interceptions including a 69-yard pickoff return for a touchdown with 1:16 left in the first half.

Stuart Ross threw for 191 yards with Justin Pringle nabbed nine passes for 61 yards. Evergreen Park native and St. Rita grad Joe Polselli had four catches including a touchdown.

The Cougars are still looking for their running game. Last year’s leading rusher, Amari Venerable, is injured and might return in October. In three games, the Cougars have 72 rushing attempts for 1 yard.

There were blemishes against Siena Heights, but Feminis is happy with the win.

“A win’s a win and we needed that really bad,” he said. “We have a lot of guys hurt and a lot of guys stepped up. We’re still a work in progress.”

The Cougars have another crossover game at St. Francis (Indiana) at 5 p.m. Saturday. St. Francis (2-0) is ranked 20th in the nation in NAIA play by the coaches and beat its first two opponents by a combined score of 103-33.

 

Chicago Catholic League

St. Laurence topped Montini 20-14 in an Orange battle as Aaron Ball had 183 yards rushing, including a 20-yard scoring run. Rob Francis added five carries for 70 yards as the Vikings (2-2, 1-0) racked up 337 yards on the ground. Matty Diaz kicked a pair of field goals.

St. Rita (2-2, 1-0) dominated in a 41-12 victory over Benet in the Green.

Since beating 2021 Class 5A runner-up Kankakee in the season opener, Nazareth has lost three straight, the latest a 22-17 setback to Notre Dame in the Green. Quarterback Logan Malachuk threw for 192 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 48 yards. Jimmy Pemley caught seven passes for 119 yards.

De La Salle opened the White season with a 33-15 loss to Fenwick at Triton College. Josue Hernandez had 76 yards and a 15-yard run while Evan Smith recovered a fumble and ran it 22 yards for a core. Trystan Hynes racked up 11 tackles for the Meteors (1-3, 0-1).

Loyola, ranked first in the state by the Associated Press in Class 8A, put up huge offensive numbers as the Ramblers beat Brother Rice (2-2, 0-1) in a Blue showdown. Crusaders quarterback Ryan Hartz threw three TD passes, including two to Owen Gorman.

Mount Carmel, ranked first in the state by the Associated Press in Class 7A, flexed its muscles with a 42-7 win over Marist in the Blue. Blainey Dowling threw for 231 yards for the Caravan.

 

SouthWest Suburban

Sandburg fell to 0-4, 0-1 with a 41-14 Blue loss at Bolingbrook. The Eagles kept it close, leading 7-6 after the first period and trailing 12-7 at halftime but the Raiders ran away with the game in the second half.  Sophomore quarterback Anthony Shelton ran for two touchdowns for the Eagles.

Stagg is finding the competition in the SWSC to be a bit tougher than what it faced in its non-conference schedule. The Chargers suffered their second consecutive blowout loss, this one 41-0, to Lincoln-Way Central on Sept. 16 in the SouthWest Suburban Red opener for both teams. Stagg had zero net yards in the first half and midway through the third quarter had yet to pick up a first down.

The Chargers opened the season 2-0 with victories over South Suburban Red teams Reavis (14-8) and Oak Lawn (42-20), then fell to SouthWest Suburban Blue powerhouse Lincoln-Way East, 49-3, in Week 3.

 

West Suburban

Down 7-0 early, Lyons (4-0, 2-0) came back for a 38-13 Silver victory over Oak Park-River Forest to set up a huge Saturday showdown hosting York (4-0, 2-0).

Morton knocked off Leyden, 30-29, at Triton College in the Gold to improve to 2-2, 2-0.

 

South Suburban Red

Argo improved to 3-1 with an 18-7 victory over Tinley Park in a crossover.

Reavis (3-1, 2-0) beat Shepard, 45-32. Quran McClellan threw for 183 yards and Elijah Tyson ran for 102 for Shepard (1-3, 0-1).

 

Metro Suburban

Riverside-Brookfield (3-1, 2-0) dominated in a 35-7 triumph over Aurora Christian in a Red contest.

Wheaton St. Francis, ranked third in the state in Class 4A by the Associated Press, beat Chicago Christian, 56-0. The Knights fell to 1-3, 0-2.

 

Chicago Public League

Goode came up with a 19-8 victory over Noble/Comer.

Catalyst Maria won a 2-0 forfeit over UCCS/Woodlawn.

Curie lost, 40-0, to power Morgan Park. Hubbard lost, 50-0, to Kenwood and faces Morgan Park on Saturday.

Bogan dropped a 35-12 decision to Agricultural Science.

Raby beat Kennedy 36-30.

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