An hour delay, a driving rain and the St. Joseph’s College football team all had trouble stopping the Urbana University offense on Saturday afternoon. As soon as the lightning cleared, Urbana scored on the game’s opening drive and never looked back in a 37-7 road win at SJC’s Alumni Field.
The opening drive was a 10-play, 67-yard trudge through the mud that ended in less than three minutes on a Jeffvon Gill 12-yard scamper into the end zone.
On Urbana’s next possession, the offense marched 67 yards in 12 plays. Before some fans had settled into their wet seats, the Blue Knights led 14-0 on a D.J. Mendenhall 28-yard pass to Marc Johnson.
The Blue Knight defense got into the act on the Puma’s next two possessions. Bad snaps caused by the driving rain led to a pair of safeties as the visitors raced out to an 18-0 advantage.
A second Mendenhall to Johnson hook-up, this one for 80 yards on third down, put the Blue Knights out in front 24-0.
Right before the end of the first half, Urbana tacked on another TD. Gill broke the plane from 3 yards out to put the Blue Knights on top by 30 before the break. The lead grew to 37 halfway through the third quarter before Urbana’s high-octane offense let up on the gas pedal. Mendenhall’s 10-yard touchdown run was his team-leading sixth of the season. He finished his afternoon with 53 yards on the ground and another 280 through the air. Despite the conditions, the junior QB completed 18 of 30 passes and accounted for 3 scores. Gill racked up a career-high 170 yards on the ground to go with his two scores. He also caught 4 passes for another 39 yards. Johnson only caught two balls, but he made them count. He finished with 108 yards and two scores. Joe Webb was Mendenhall’s favorite target, catching 7 balls for 104 yards.
Defensively, Dan Goodrum and Roy Harvison led the Blue Knights with 6 stops, including one each for a loss. Defensive lineman Kyle Ferguson had 5 tackles, including a sack, and Perry Jenkins added another forced fumble to his 4 stops.
Urbana has outscored its opponents 111-7 the past two weeks. Both squads entered Saturday’s contest with identical 2-1 records in GLVC play. After the convincing win, the Blue Knights remain a game behind conference leader Indianapolis, who Urbana hosts in the final week of the season. Urbana is 5-2 overall. St. Joe’s drops to 3-4 and 2-2 in GLVC play.
Next Saturday, Urbana returns home after a three-week lay-off. The Blue Knights host McKendree University for Homecoming. Kickoff is set for noon, but the Homecoming festivities will begin around 9:00 a.m.