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updated: 9/8/2012 12:18 AM

St. Francis cruises past Chicago Christian

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By James Taylor
Daily Herald Correspondent

Leading only 7-0 after the first quarter, some might think St. Francis was looking ahead to a showdown with conference rival Montini next week. Those thoughts may have been erased as the Spartans used a 28-point second quarter to catapult themselves to a 49-0 Suburban Christian Conference crossover victory against Chicago Christian Friday night at College of DuPage.

"I really think we are a disciplined team, but the last two weeks we haven't shown it," St. Francis coach Greg Purnell said. "We've been lackadaisical and had a lot of miscues early in the game."

Despite two first-half turnovers and 5 penalties for 48 yards, the St. Francis offense found a solid balance in the second quarter. Spartans quarterback Michael Robinson threw two second-quarter touchdowns, including a 28-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Joe Connelly with 11 seconds remaining in the first half.

St. Francis (3-0, 1-0) was even better on the ground, as it churned out 344 yards rushing and 5 touchdowns. Leading the way was sophomore running back T.J. Jackson, who finished the game with 105 yards and 3 touchdowns.

"The first quarter we were slacking, but in the second quarter the offensive line did a great job, and Michael (Robinson) was a leader and picked us up, and we started scoring," Jackson said.

The offensive balance was something Purnell has been hoping for.

"The kids are really picking up the misdirection, and that's hard to play against because you only see it once a year," Purnell said. "Now that we're throwing the ball better, we're more balanced and it might be a little harder to defend us now."

The defense was staunch for St. Francis, which held Chicago Christian (1-2, 0-1) to a mere 103 yards of total offense. Linebacker Kyle Wedoff had a first-quarter sack that thwarted a Knights' drive, and cornerback Jack Infelise had an interception that ended another Chicago Christian drive. In all the Spartans outgained the Knights 480-103.

Despite the lopsided score there are plenty of things to sharpen up.

"We try to go one day, one practice at a time," Purnell said. "Our kids are resilient and we're excited about the challenge next Friday (against Montini). I have to tip my cap to our seniors. There's 26 of them and they're doing a great job."

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