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College Football: St. Xavier knocks off No. 1 Marian

Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golscelebrated after scoring winning touchdown third overtime period against Pittsburgh an NCAA college football game South

Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson celebrated after scoring the winning touchdown in the the third overtime period against Pittsburgh in an NCAA college football game in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012. Dame defeated Pittsburgh 29-26 in triple overtime. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

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Updated: January 3, 2013 1:27AM



Marian University came into Saturday’s game as the top-ranked NAIA football team in the country, but defending national champion St. Xavier made it quite clear that it’s still the team to beat.

Jimmy Coy threw three touchdown passes and the No. 5 Cougars pitched a shutout for the first 50 minutes of a 23-6 MSFA Mideast League win at Deaton Field in Mount Greenwood.

“We definitely made a statement,” Cougars safety Clayton Fejedelem said. “We’re upset about our (25-13 loss to St. Francis of Indiana on Sept. 29), but we know in our hearts we’re still the No. 1 team in the country.”

Fejedelem, a Lemont product, had an interception, a fumble recovery and nine tackles. Zach Dolph (fumble recovery) and Andrew alum Mike Bushnell had 13 tackles each for the Cougars (8-1, 4-1).

It was Fejedelem’s second straight huge game against the Knights (8-1, 4-1). He had the game-sealing interception in St. Xavier’s national semifinal win over Marian last season in Indianapolis.

St. Xavier started fast as Coy (17-of-35, 314 yards) capped the game’s first drive by hitting Corey Wennmacher for a 30-yard score.

Coy had his ups-and-downs the rest of the way, throwing three interceptions, but made two more huge plays.

He hit Wes Gastel for a 68-yard score in the second quarter and erased any doubts about the outcome when he tossed a 65-yard fourth-quarter touchdown to Shane Zackery (4 catches, 101 yards) to make it 23-0.

“We have so many big hitters that those big plays can happen anytime,” St. Xavier coach Mike Feminis said.

The Cougars held Marian’s star running back Tevin Lake to 96 yards on 27 carries.

“We were just at a whole new level of play in practice all week,” Bushnell said. “Everyone did their job on ‘D.’ ”

The win likely assures a first-round home playoff game for the Cougars and sealed a share of the conference crown.

“This was a revenge game for us,” linebacker Dave Marciano said. “They took the conference title last year and we wanted to do something that we didn’t do last year.”



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