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St. Xavier rolls behind Pesek’s big effort

Notre Dame safety Matthias Farley (41) intercepts pass past Stanford tight end Levine Toliolo (11) during first half an NCAA

Notre Dame safety Matthias Farley (41) intercepts a pass past Stanford tight end Levine Toliolo (11) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

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Updated: December 13, 2012 1:58AM



ADRIAN, Mich. — Behind a record-tying night by junior running back Nick Pesek (Oak Lawn), No. 6-ranked St. Xavier pulled away early for a 45-7 win over Mid-States Football Association Mideast League foe Siena Heights (Mich.) at O’Laughlin Stadium.

The Cougars (5-1, 1-1) were nearly unstoppable on offense in the first half, scoring 35 points to build a commanding 35-0 halftime lead.

Pesek tied the school record with three rushing touchdowns to go along with 11 carries for 176 yards. The last SXU player to rush for three touchdowns in a game was Donnie Selby against Malone (Ohio) on Oct. 16, 2010.

Senior quarterback Jimmy Coy was back in the starting lineup after missing St. Xavier’s last game against Saint Francis (Ind.) because of injury. Coy looked sharp, completing 16-of-25 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns.

Sophomore Nick DeBenedetti (Andrew) led the receiving corps with five catches for 46 yards and a score.

Defensively, SXU was paced by junior linebacker Zach Dolph (Joliet Catholic), who had seven tackles, including two for losses.

Pesek set the tone for the game when he broke off an 82-yard run on SXU’s first play from scrimmage. Coy finished the drive a few plays later when he found senior Chase Catton in the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown reception at the 9:13 mark of the first quarter.

On the Cougars’ next possession, the offense marched down the field again and pushed the lead to 14-0 on a 27-yard screen pass by Coy to DeBenedetti.

Early in the second quarter, Pesek went untouched up the middle for a 2-yard scoring run to make it 21-0.

Just four minutes later, Pesek struck again when he found a hole up the middle of the field and plowed 42 yards to the end zone to extend the lead to 28-0.

Pesek capped the first-half scoring with less than two minutes remaining when he scored his third touchdown of the game on an 11-yard run.

No. 7 Notre Dame 20
No. 17 Stanford 13 (OT)

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — TJ Jones made a reaching 7-yard touchdown catch in overtime and Notre Dame stopped Stanford inches from the goal line to beat the Cardinal.

After Jones and Tommy Rees gave the Fighting Irish (6-0) a seven-point lead in OT, Stanford (4-2) drove to a first-and-goal at the 4.

Stepfan Taylor ran for one yard on first down, two yards on second down and inches on third down. That left one play from inside the 1 and the Notre Dame defense, led by Carlos Calabrese, stood up Taylor and pushed him back.

Taylor went up the middle and was knocked back, but kept reaching and turning with bodies underneath him. His knee never did hit the ground before reaching the ball across the goal line. But the officials ruled it was too late. The whistle had blown, and that meant the play was stopped.

Taylor finished with 102 yards on 28 carries. He needed 103.

The celebration had to wait for a replay review. It was close, but the call stood. Irish fans who weren’t already on the field spilled out of the stands, and Notre Dame’s national title hopes remained alive.

The Irish are 6-0 for the first time since 2002.

“Physically, we controlled the line of scrimmage,” Irish coach Brian Kelly said of the last play. “Classic. Classic goal line stand.”

Stanford coach David Shaw wasn’t so sure.

“I didn’t get a view of the last play,” Shaw said. “Stepfan swore to me that he got in. That he put the ball over the goal line on the second effort. The officials looked at it and they said he didn’t get in, so he didn’t get in.”

“We knew they were going to run the ball,” said Irish linebacker Manti Te’o, who made 11 tackles. “We knew that basically No. 33 (Taylor) was going to have the ball. So everybody had to do their job.”

No. 25 Michigan 45, Illinois 0

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Denard Robinson overcame his mysterious first-quarter injury and then brushed aside the Illini almost as easily.

Robinson threw two touchdown passes and ran for two scores, leading Michigan over the Illini.

The Wolverines (4-2, 2-0 Big Ten) got a scare when Robinson left the game with an undisclosed injury late in the first quarter. He missed just one-plus possessions, though, and returned to score on a 6-yard run — his second of four touchdowns — to put Michigan up 17-0 late in the first half.

The Fighting Illini (2-5, 0-3) had their starting quarterback, Nathan Scheelhaase, knocked out of the game because of a concussion in the second quarter.

“I grabbed Nate when he came off the field and he said he was all right and wanted to go back in the game,” coach Tim Beckman said. “But he did some things that proved he wasn’t all right. Our doctors made the right decision.”

Northwestern 21, Minnesota 13

MINNEAPOLIS — Venric Mark rushed for 182 yards and two touchdowns to carry Northwestern.

Mark wasn’t touched on scoring runs of 26 and 48 yards and the Wildcats (6-1, 2-1 Big Ten) overcame 11 penalties to become bowl eligible.

The Golden Gophers fell to 4-2, 0-2.

Jerry Kill’s seizure problems returned Saturday, hospitalizing the Minnesota coach shortly after he gave his postgame news conference.

Kill met with the media and answered questions for about 10 minutes after the game, looking healthy and strong. But moments after returning to the locker room, school officials said he had another seizure.

Team medical staff attended to him immediately. Kill was taken to a hospital, where he was alert and resting comfortably, according to a news release issued by the school about two hours after the game.

It’s the latest in a long line of problems with seizures for Kill. He suffered several of them last season in his first year at Minnesota, most notably on the sideline during a loss to New Mexico State in September.

Northern Illinois 45, Buffalo 3

DeKALB — Jordan Lynch ran for a pair of first-half touchdowns and threw two scoring passes in the second half as Northern Illinois rolled over Buffalo.

Northern Illinois (6-1, 3-0 Mid-American) got 129 yards on the ground from Lynch, and he completed 13-of-20 passes for 232 yards. Martel Moore caught eight passes for 133 yards and a TD.

Buffalo (1-5, 0-3) was pressured by the Northern Illinois defense most of the day. Northern Illinois intercepted Alex Zordich on two occasions and sacked him twice.

Contributing: AP



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