Saint Francis opened its 2012 football season with a 46-10 victory over Texas College in Tyler, Texas, on Saturday.
But that comes as no surprise.
“It was about what I expected,” said Saint Francis coach Kevin Donley, whose 255th career victory tied him for first on the NAIA active coaches career wins list with Hank Biesiot of Dickinson State (N.D.).
“They played very hard; we played hard, and did some good things. It was a typical first-game start.”
It was the 13th consecutive season in which the Cougars have started with a win. The only time Saint Francis didn’t begin its season triumphantly was in its second year, when it lost toValparaiso35-6 in 1999.
The game marked the first times that Saint Francis opened its season south of theMason-Dixon line, and it was the southern-most game played in school history.
Sophomore running back Antoin Campbell led the Cougars’ offensive charge with three touchdown runs and 108 rushing yards on 11 carries. Campbell ran for scores from 6, 2 and 72 yards away.
Junior quarterback Josh Miller, making his first career start, completed 10 of 22 passes for 99 yards and ran 10 times for 38 yards.
“We missed on a couple of long balls,” Donley said.
“I thought Miller pressed extremely hard. He needs to relax and just play. But, we did some good things. We had a defensive score, and we scored five touchdowns and a field goal.”
The defense, in fact, scored twice – with a safety and a touchdown when Jody Dynako recovered a fumble in the end zone.
The other offensive scores came from Kyle Mathewson’s 10-yard run and Austin Coleman’s 2-yard run.
Saint Francis returns home Saturday to play Wisconsin-Stevens Point atnoon.