Saint Francis football awaits word on injured receivers

Saint Francis wide receiver Rocky James, left, runs after a catch in a game against Saint Xavier on Sept. 23 at Bishop D'Arcy Stadium. (Photo by Reggie Hayes of The News-Sentinel)

After surviving an upset scare, the No. 1 University of Saint Francis football team heads into this week hoping for good news from the training room.

The Cougars’ leading receivers, sophomores Rocky James and Dan Ricksy, were both sidelined as Saint Francis beat Concordia 35-18 on Saturday at Bishop D’Arcy Stadium.

Their status is uncertain for 6-0 Saint Francis’ trip to Siena Heights (4-2) at 7 p.m. Saturday in Adrian, Mich.

James suffered a hyper-extended knee early in the game Saturday. Ricksy missed the entire game due to a previous ankle injury.

“Hopefully, we’ll get them back soon,” coach Kevin Donley said today.

The receivers’ injuries were one part of a tense atmosphere in the Cougars’ latest win. Saint Francis trailed early in the game, and broke an 18-18 tie on a Gavin Gardner field goal with 6:56 left before sealing the game with some big plays down the stretch.

Outside linebacker Spencer Cowherd forced a fumble, which cornerback Ryan Johnson returned for a touchdown, and the Cougars then recovered a loose football on the ensuing kickoff. The Cougars marched down the field and Justin Green scored his third touchdown of the day to reach the final 17-point margin.

“Great football teams are going to come up in games like that,” Donley said. “People are always going to play their best against us. We have to win the fourth quarter. I think we’re better conditioned than most people we play. We won that game in the second half in Indianapolis (at Marian) two weeks ago, and we outscored them 20-0 (in the fourth quarter) Saturday.”

With James and Ricksy out, senior receiver Sean Boswell led the team with seven receptions for 89 yards. Tight end Zach Gegner and backup receivers Will Chrisman, Andreas Gomez-Espino and Duke Blackwell had two receptions apiece.

Saint Francis quarterback Nick Ferrer completed 19 of 35 passes for 202 yards but no touchdown passes. His career streak of throwing at least two touchdowns ended at 31 consecutive games.