Mistake-prone, injury-plagued Cougars lose league opener
Saturday’s homecoming football game at St. Xavier University started four hours earlier than scheduled because of a threat of bad weather.
Nature’s worst was avoided, but what the host Cougars couldn’t dodge was a hefty share of bad luck.
Already down a couple men on the defensive side, SXU’s ranks got thinned further when Jacob Ghinazzi was ejected from the Cougars’ Mid-States Football Association Midwest League opener because of helmet-to-helmet contact with a Grand View University player. And the Cougars weren’t spared grief on the offensive side, either, as both quarterback John Rhode (separated shoulder) and tailback Nick Pesek (severe ankle sprain) exited the game prematurely with injuries.
To make matters even worse, SXU was also mistake-prone. Six turnovers plagued the home team, and those miscues couldn’t be played through. Instead, the NAIA No. 4-ranked visitors toppled the No. 3 Cougars 48-21 at Bruce R. Deaton Field.