ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Using perfect weather, fifth-ranked University of Saint Francis scored record 36 points in the second quarter leaving little doubt about the Cougars’ regular-season quest for perfection.
With a brilliant blue sky overhead and temperatures in the mid-60s at kickoff on Saturday, USF defeated winless Missouri Baptist University 64-6 at Christian Brothers College High School Field to finish 9-0, 6-0 in the Mid-States Football Association Mideast League. The Cougars locked up their 12th MEL crown, their 10th outright, as well as an automatic berth in the NAIA Football Championship Series.
NAIA will reveal the final regular season poll Sunday afternoon and the Cougars will likely move up to No. 4 after finishing as the only unbeaten team in NAIA football this season. Top-ranked Morningside University assured USF’s ‘only unbeaten’ status with a 55-7 win over No. 4 Doane (Neb.), which was the only other unbeaten team prior to play on Saturday.
USF will learn its first-round NAIA Football Championship Series opponent next Saturday (Nov. 21) around 5 p.m. on the NAIA Championship Selection Show on NAIANetwork.com. Click here to view.
USF sophomore quarterback Nick Ferrer threw for five touchdown pass, finished 25-for-29 passing for 312 yards. Seth Coate caught two of Ferrer’s TD tosses including the first in the first quarter for a 6-0 lead with 7:51 to play.
Ferrer and Coate connected again at 13:11 in the second quarter, an 8-yard connection that ignited USF’s 36-point second quarter. By the time the quarter ended, USF led 43-3 at halftime. Ferrer connected for four TD passes in the second quarter. Defense added points when Cale Tabler returned an interception 40 yards for the score and a 20-0 USF lead at 10:58. And Charles Gaston blocked an MBU punt out of the end zone for a safety at 1:27. Ferrer and Cam Smith hooked up for a 9-yard TD pass with 22 seconds to play in the half and Ryan Nix‘ extra point produced a new record for point in a second quarter topping the 35 against Quincy in 2002.
Ferrer completed 12-of-14 passes in the second quarter for 156 yards and three TDs. Andreas Gomez-Espino caught a 29-yard TD pass from Ferrer and Justin Green added a 4-yard plunge in the USF record second quarter.
“Total team effort, contributions in every phase from everybody, and I’m proud of these guys,” USF Head Coach Kevin Donley summed up after winning his 19th conference championship in 37 seasons as a collegiate head coach. This is USF’s first unbeaten season since 2008, the seventh in 18 seasons.
Ferrer played one series in the second half hitting Seth Stuart for a 2-yard pass to finish the day. His three 5-TD games are the most 5-TD games by a USF QB since Jeremy Hibbeln had two 5s and two 6s in 2000.
USF easily out ‘offensed’ the second-year MBU Spartans — 502-166 — adding 162 yards