St. Francis destroys Iowa Wesleyan
September 22, 2012 11:08PM
Updated: October 24, 2012 6:56AM
JOLIET – Junior quarterback E.J. White threw four touchdown passes and ran for two more as University of St. Francis celebrated Homecoming with a 52-13 win over Iowa Wesleyan College in non-conference football action Saturday afternoon at ATI Field.
Iowa Wesleyan gave the Saints an early scare as it built a 13-7 lead on a pair of Zandro Diaz touchdown passes in the second quarter. Two Tigers’ miscues in the final four minutes of the half, however, led to 16 USF points and a 23-13 Saints’ lead at the intermission.
Leading 13-7, the Tigers drove inside St. Francis territory when sophomore Jeff Cascella sacked Diaz, forcing a fumble that Eric Davis scooped up and returned to the Iowa Wesleyan 25-yard line. Two plays later, White scored his first touchdown of the day on a 24-yard scamper.
St. Francis (4-2) forced a 3-and-out on the Tigers’ next drive and a bad snap on the punt attempt gave the Saints the ball again at the Iowa Wesleyan 25. This time it took the Saints four plays to score as White ran in from 7 yards out with just 15 seconds to go in the first half.
USF put the game away with a pair of third-quarter touchdown passes from White. He connected with senior wideout Desmond Page from 6 yards out with 7:25 left in the period before finding junior fullback Dustin Greenwell in the end zone for a 7-yard scoring strike at the 3:36 mark. White and Greenwell hooked up on a 4-yard touchdown for the Saints’ first points of the day late in the first quarter.
“We didn’t get going the way we had hoped to, but I have to give credit to Iowa Wesleyan. They gave us some looks on defense we hadn’t seen all week,” said USF Head Coach Joe Curry. “But once we made some adjustments at halftime, it worked well for us.”
White capped the day with a 2-yard touchdown toss to Page early in the fourth quarter. The Saints rounded out the scoring on a 1-yard plunge from redshirt freshman Sheldon Magee with just under 10 minutes to play.
White, who entered the game as the NAIA leader in total offense and passing offense, completed 28 of 39 attempts for 250 yards and four TDs without an interception. He also rushed for 110 yards on only nine carries.
“We put in some new plays this week so it took us a while to fully understand what we had to do,” said White.
Page and Greenwell each caught seven passes, Page for 84 yards and Greenwell for 58.
Diaz was 25 for 40 for 259 yards and a pair of scores for the Tigers (1-4). He was intercepted on one occasion. He connected with Ridge Hobbes eight times for 127 yards – all of those catches coming in the first half.
Redshirt freshman linebacker Jamal Graham led the Saints defensively with 11 tackles including 2.5 for loss, two pass breakups and an interception.
St. Francis returns to Mid-States Football Association Midwest Division play next Saturday at Waldorf College.
From wire reports