The Siena Heights football team (3-0, 1-0 MSFA) will travel to Illinois for the second time this season as the team faces the University of St. Francis (Ill.) (1-2) for the third road game of 2018. The Saints from Siena Heights will look to extend their current win streak to four games while the Fighting Saints will look to bring their record to .500 after a 0-2 start on the year.
This will be the fourth meeting between Siena Heights and St. Francis (Ill.) in football. SHU currently leads the all-time series 2-1 and has won the last two meetings between the schools including a 34-16 win last year.
St. Francis (Ill.) enters the game after starting the season 0-2 in losses to NCAA Division I FCS program Sacramento State University (55-7) and defending NAIA champion and current No. 1, St. Francis (Ind.) (19-49). The Fighting Saints got their first win last week against Quincy University by a score of 41-26.
Siena Heights has started 3-0 for the first time in program history after a 21-7 win in the season opener at Missouri Baptist, a 16-7 win on the road against Olivet Nazarene, and a 40-0 dismantling of Robert Morris (Ill.) in the Saints home opener last week.
St. Francis (Ill.) is led on offense by quarterback Dan Butkus. Butkus is 25-38 in passing for 394 yards and four touchdowns. On the ground, the Fighting Saints are led by Dwayne Milton who has 55 carries for 308 yards and a touchdown. Brandon Ruffin leads the receiving corps with 17 catches for 298 yards and has all six touchdown catches for St. Francis (Ill.).
Defensively, Antonio Jameson has a team-high 24 tackles. He also has a one-half sack for three yards and two tackles for loss. Kody Randa has 22 tackles, a half-sack for three yards, and one tackle for loss. Heithon Hurdle and Rio Strama each have 21 tackles for the Fighting Saints. Hurdle has a forced fumble and Strama has tallied two tackles for loss and a pass breakup. Malik Thurman and Mason DeLong round out the top defensive threats for St. Francis with 19 tackles each. Thurman has recorded 1.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery; DeLong has 1.5 sacks for seven yards and three tackles for loss.
Josh Holberry leads the kicking game for the Fighting Saints as he has made seven of his nine extra point attempts. He is also the teams leading punter with 15 punts for 515 yards and a long of 44 yards. He has pinned three punts inside the 20-yard line.
Siena Heights is led by Tyler Knecht at quarterback. He is 28-49 (57.1%) through the air for 342 yards and three touchdowns. D'aries Davis leads the Saints running game with 78 rushes for 351 yards. He is averaging 117 rushing yards per game. Jared Jordan has totaled 35 carries for 171 yards and has scored three of the team's five rushing touchdowns on the season. Damon Wright Jr. has a team-high 12 receptions for 97 yards and has two touchdown catches.
Izayah Newsom has 16 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 3.5 tackles for loss to lead the SHU defense that is currently first in the Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) in both scoring defense and total defense. Siena's defense is also first in passing defense and second in rushing defense. Nick Stalworth is second on the team with 15 tackles. Logan Smith and Griffen Sobol each have 14 tackles. Sobol has also registered 1.5 sacks and three tackles for loss. Malik Edwards has a total of 13 tackles this year. He leads the Saints with four sacks and five tackles for loss.
Brady Tanguay is 3-4 in field goals with a season-long of 43 yards. He has drilled eight of 10 extra-point attempts so far in 2018. Caleb Meister has 16 punts for 603 yards and a long of 51 yards. He has pinned six punts inside the 20.
The game is set for a 2:00 p.m., EDT, kickoff on Saturday, September 22. Saint fans can follow along with the live stats at this link: http://live.gofightingsaints.com/fb/xlive.htm and the video at this link: https://www.youtube.com/user/usffightingsaints/live