ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. — Heavy lifting was for the first half despite a steady, sometimes heavy downpour, and NAIA No. 3-ranked University of Saint Francis persevered to win over the weather and Robert Morris University 29-16 on Saturday night.
“It wasn’t pretty, but we got the ‘W’ so give yourself a hand,” USF Head Coach Kevin Donley told his Cougars. “You’ve got to do that sometimes and we will be better next week.”
USF spotted RMU a 3-0 lead in the first half, but the Cougars quickly made up for it scoring the next 29 points to lead by 26 at halftime.
As wet as it became after the coin toss, P.J. Dean still managed to ignite a fire when he scored on a 78-yard run somehow turning the corner and dashing right past the USF sideline to put the Cougars ahead for good with 7:47 to play in the first quarter. On the ensuing kickoff, freshman Mike Adams recovered the fumbled kickoff and four plays later, USF led 13-3 on a Matt Crable to Dan Ricksy six-yard pass.
The USF defense forced the Eagles to punt and Matt Kominkiewicz made history in two ways. His 83-yard punt return for touchdown is the longest in the 22-year history of the program and he became the first USF player to return a punt for six as well as a KO return for a TD. Kominkiewicz made it 20-3. Martel Williams scored on a one-yard plunge into the end zone and later in the second quarter, Gavin Gardner kicked a 36-yard field goal wrapping up USF scoring.
RMU did recover back-to-back onside kicks in the fourth quarter, but USF defensive end James Jamicich sacked Quinn Kelly putting the Eagles in a fourth-and-33 situation ending any serious threat to the USF win.