End-of-Season Football Recap
The University of Saint Francis ended its 15th regular season Saturday, Nov. 10 at Lindenwood Stadium in Belleville, Ill., with the sixth-ranked Cougars beating Lindenwood-Belleville 44-7 to finish 8-2.
In the game with LUB, USF running back Antoin Campbell rushed for 128 yards on 23 carries, including 8-yard and 1-yard touchdowns. David Yoder, starting USF quarterback, threw two touchdown passes to Colin Harruff, finishing 16-for-30 passing for 144 yards. Defensively, Taylor Brown was injured and replaced by Keith Lewis, who had two fumble recoveries and an interception.
The Cougars’ win propelled them to the playoff game with Baker University.
The Cougars fought hard in an exciting playoff game Nov. 17 at Bishop D’Arcy Stadium. The battle earned USF a 22-17 victory over the 11th-ranked Baker University Wildcats.
With 2:23 left to play in the fourth quarter, USF linebacker Jamael Green made the biggest catch of the game, intercepting a pass by Sam Vossen, Wildcats quarterback. Despite using its last two timeouts, BU never got the ball back.
In the first quarter, an interception by USF senior linebacker Quinn Doan set up the Cougars’ first score of the game, an 11-yard pass by USF starting quarterback Josh Miller to Colin Harruff. Emerson Ueber then made the first of his three field goals, giving USF a 9-0 lead early in the second quarter. That lead narrowed to 9-7 with 4:56 to play in the first half. With 33 seconds to play, USF made a 79-yard drive that ended in a 13-yard touchdown by Miller. Then, with 10 seconds to play, BU kicked a 44-yard field goal, bringing the score at the half to 16-10.
Neither team scored in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, USF took the lead 19-10 when Ueber kicked a 24-yard field goal. BU struggled back and scored seven points, after which Ueber kicked his third field goal and gained five points for the Cougars. BU then scored a first down at the USF 48, but the game’s momentum changed in the Cougars’ favor with Green’s interception.
Miller was replaced after injuring his leg in the third quarter. He finished 10-for-16 passing for 86 yards, and rushed nine times for 33 yards, getting sacked three times. With 95 yards on 27 carries, Antoin Campbell led USF rushing. In USF receiving, Cameron Smith led with one reception for 47 yards. Leading USF tacklers was Brody Kalbaugh with 18, including six solo. Austin Coleman’s four kickoff returns gave the Cougars 77 yards, and USF finished with 278 yards total offense.
Green’s interception was the first of his career at USF. He was named NAIA Defensive Player of the Game, while Miller was named NAIA Offensive Player of the Game.
The win over the Wildcats earned USF a rematch with No. 5 Marian University in a quarterfinal clash Nov. 24 in Indianapolis.
NAIA Football Championship Series Quarterfinal Game
USF’s rematch with Marian University on Nov. 24 proved disappointing for the Cougars as they lost to MU 45-34.
Scoring on its first possession of the game, USF took a 7-0 lead, but the Knights went on to score 24 points unchallenged. Despite later fighting back to within nine points, the Cougars did not recover.
With 7:11 left to play in the game, USF senior Austin Coleman scored his second 100-yard kickoff return touchdown of the season and his eighth career kickoff return touchdown, setting an NAIA record. He also set a USF single-game record as he finished the game with 231 yards on seven returns.
The second USF touchdown of the game, and the final one of the season was scored by Aaron Knight, who caught a 24-yard pass by David Yoder. Seth Stuart was responsible for the Cougars’ lead in the first quarter, and Emerson Ueber kicked the PAT following a 69-yard drive.
In the second half, Kory Stamps negated the turnover on the Knights’ first play by picking off an MU pass. In the third quarter, Yoder made a pass to Colin Harruff for 33 yards on first-and-10 from the MU 47, and later passed to Akiem Kelsaw for an 11-yard touchdown.
Yoder finished 25-for-42 for 278 yards and three touchdowns. USF rushing was led by Antoin Campbell with 57 yards on 13 carries. Coleman had 72 yards with five receptions, Knight had 70 yards with six receptions, and Harruff had 61 yards with four receptions. Coleman set a Cougar record with 303 all-purpose yards - only the fourth time a Cougar has gotten 300 or more all-purpose yards.
Despite the disappointing loss to MU, the Cougars nonetheless had a fine season. As USF Head Coach Kevin Donley said, "Do not hang your heads. You have nothing to be ashamed about. We’ve been a pretty doggone good football team."