JOLIET, ILL. -- The Siena Heights football team became the first team in program history to start the season 4-0 after a 38-27 victory on the road versus St. Francis (Ill.) on Saturday afternoon. Jared Jordan had a monster day on the ground racking up 125 rushing yards and a career-high three touchdowns.
Final Score: SHU 38, St. Francis (Ill.) 27
Location: Joliet, Illinois (ATI Field)
Records: SHU (4-0), St. Francis (Ill.) (1-3)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Jared Jordan scored the first of his three touchdowns in Siena's second drive when he sprinted 77 yards to put Siena up 7-0. The rush capped a three play, 86 yard drive. Brady Tanguay added three points on the next Saint drive to end the scoring in the first quarter.
The Fighting Saints responded on the next drive with an 18-yard pass of their own from Don Butkus to Brandon Ruffin to cut the deficit to 11 points (17-6). Izayah Newsom would block Josh Holberry's extra point attempt to keep the score 17-6.
Jordan struck again on the following drive when he barreled into the end zone with a three-yard run to finish a nine play, 92-yard drive to put the Saints on top, 24-6 at the half.
SHU scored first in the second half to go up 31-6 after a 10-yard rush from Damon Wright Jr., completed an eight play, 65-yard drive.
St. Francis (Ill.) continued to fight as Butkus completed a nine-yard pass to Matt Brachmann for a touchdown. Following the successful extra point, the score was 31-13, Siena.
Butkus connected with Ruffin for the second time early in the fourth quarter to put the score at 31-20 with 14:18 still remaining in the game.
After a personal foul on Siena, the ensuing kick off was placed at the 50-yard line and Holberry recovered his own onside kick to give St. Francis possession of the ball once more.
The Fighting Saints would drive the ball down to the SHU 5-yard line only to be backed up 10-yards on a holding penalty and then another 15-yards on an unsportsmanlike conduct infraction that put the ball at the SHU 26. Facing a third and goal from the 26, Butkus's pass was broken up by Da'Quan Butler to force fourth down. St. Francis (Ill.) took the gamble and went for it on fourth and goal only to have the pass intercepted in the end zone by Trenton Morrow.
Jordan iced the game with a 4-yard touchdown run two drives later to put the Saints up 38-20 with just 2:55 left on the clock.
Butkus would score once more on a 12-yard pass to Brachmann the very next drive to cut the Saint lead to 11 points a final time before Siena ran the rest of the clock out to end the game.
• Knecht was 17-26 passing for a career-high 221 yards and a touchdown.
• D'aries Davis finished with 26 carries and 176 yards. He also had a 50-yard scamper in the game.
• Jordan averaged 8.9 yards-per-carry to help propel Siena to the win.
• Glanders and DaWan Smith II each had six catches in the game. Glanders totaled 83 yards receiving while Smith had 57.
• Nick Stalworth led the Saints defense with 10 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and a pass breakup.
• Griffen Sobol, Logan Smith, and Morrow each had eight tackles.
• DeVonte Collins-Anderson registered six tackles and half a tackle for loss.
• Nicco Moroso tallied the only sack in the game for Siena.
• Tanguay made his only field goal attempt from 35-yards out. He was also a perfect 5-5 in extra points.
• Caleb Meister had five punts for 187 yards. His longest of the day was a 48-yard punt.
• Brock Quinlan finished with seven kickoffs for 328 yards.
• Butkus was 16-32 for 172 yards and four touchdowns.
• Dwayne Milton carried the ball 30 times for 153 yards.
• Ruffin had six receptions for 92 yards and two touchdowns.
• Brachmann finished with three catches, two of which were touchdowns, for 25 yards.
• Dominic Sterr led the defense with 13 tackles, .5 tackle for loss, and one pass breakup.
• Kody Randa had 11 tackles, .5 for loss.
• Holberry was 3-4 in extra points and did not attempt a field goal in the game. He also had four punts for 154 yards, pinning one inside the 20 and three kickoffs for 180 yards.
• Butkus also punted twice for 35 yards.
The Saints have a bye week next week before the team hosts Taylor (Ind.) on Saturday, October 6, 2018. The game is scheduled for a 4:00 p.m., start time and is the 2018 Homecoming Game.