SXU's Stuart Ross and the Cougars are headed to the NAIA quarterfinals. Photo by Jeff Vorva

SXU's Stuart Ross and the Cougars are headed to the NAIA quarterfinals. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup | Cougars get revenge on Marian, earn date with top seed

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By Jeff Vorva
Staff Writer

The Saint Xavier defense made sure to get some revenge for a couple of losses in recent years to Marian University.

The Cougars racked up 10 sacks, 15 tackles for losses, three forced fumbles and two interceptions in a 31-21 victory over Marian in the second round of the NAIA Football Championship Series on Nov. 25 at St. Vincent Field in Indianapolis. The SXU defense held the Knights to 3 rushing yards.

The Cougars advanced to the NAIA quarterfinals for the first time since 2019 and will visit top-seeded Northwestern Iowa (12-0) on Dec. 2 at a time to be determined.

The 12th-seeded Cougars (8-3) picked up a double dose of revenge on Marian (9-2), which knocked Saint Xavier out of the playoffs last year and beat them this season on Sept. 9.

Senior defensive lineman Juabarey Anderson was named the Defensive Player of the Game after totaling seven tackles, including five for a combined 29 yards in losses, to go with three sacks and a forced fumble.

Senior quarterback Stuart Ross was named the Offensive Player of Game, totaling 208 passing yards on 19-for-25 passing with three touchdowns and an interception.

Senior running back Amari Venerable ran for 74 yards on 14 carries and he scored a touchdown. Venerable also caught four passes for 41 yards.

Wide receiver Justin Pringle, a graduate student, made seven receptions for 43 yards and a touchdown. In the first quarter, he became just the fifth player in program history to record 3,000 or more career receiving yards and now has 3,042 in his time with Saint Xavier.

 

Milazzo among NWSL leaders
Chicago Red Stars defender Tatumn Milazzo, an Orland Park native, ranked second in the NWSL for take-on percentage with an 87.5% showing.

Louisville’s Julia Lester was first with a 91.7%. San Diego’s Makenzy Doniak was third with an 81.5% showing.

A take-on is “an attempt by a player to beat an opponent when they have possession of the ball,” according to statsperform.com.

 

Sports bits
• In Saint Xavier’s 83-82 win over Olivet Nazarene on Nov. 21, Aaliyahna Derrell tied the school record with 13 assists. She wasn’t bad on defense, either, hauling down 12 rebounds.
• St. Laurence basketball standout Josh Pickett was named an Illinois State Scholar.
• Sandburg’s Nola Oben was selected to the All-State Honorable Mention list in flag football.

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