FORT WAYNE – The Human GPS. Maybe thats what you call the kid, at least on this night.
Maybe thats what you call Saint Francis quarterback David Yoder, who came on Saturday night with the end zone an undiscovered country for the No. 4 Saint Francis Cougars, and showed them the way there. Twenty-eight straight points later, the Cougars were a speck on the horizon in a 45-20 lamination of No. 10 Saint Xavier.
I just get out there and play and make my reads, said Yoder, who entered the game late in the first half with the Cougars trailing 7-3. Im a loose guy. Youve got to come out here and play loose. You cant get too excited when youre playing because then you start overthinking stuff.
Amen, Saint Francis coach Kevin Donley said.
When David Yoder comes in a game, everybody gets a little loose, he said. Hes just loose. Hes fun. And he gets the kids to relax when hes in there.
Good for him, man. He makes the plays.
Yoder completed 15 of 23 passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns in roughly a half of play and was ably assisted by running back Garrett Harvey, who ran for 62 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries to lead a 125-yard ground game. The Saint Francis defense limited Saint Xavier (3-3) to 9:37 of possession time in the second half after Saint Xavier had the football for more than 20 minutes in the first half.
Defense shut em down, Donley said.
And then on came Yoder for struggling starter Josh Miller, and off went the Cougars.
With 4:04 left in the half, he directed Saint Francis (4-1) to the end zone, completing 5 of 7 passes on a 10-play, 77-yard drive that used up just 2:42 and included a 30-yard sideline throw to a diving Cam Smith at the 1-yard line. When Yoder walked in on a keeper on the next play, the Cougars had a 10-7 lead to take to halftime.
That was huge, just to get our confidence up, Yoder said. Get us a lead going into halftime, get our momentum. And weve got the ball starting the second half.
Which meant he was just getting started.
On the Cougars first possession of the second half, Yoder found Smith deep again to set up a 4-yard Harvey touchdown, ending an 11-play, 84-yard drive. Then he took them 56 yards in seven plays, this time finding Seth Stuart from 23 yards out.
After Saint Xavier fumbled away the ensuing kickoff, the Cougars cashed in again, Akeim Kelsaw barreling the last 14 yards for the score.
With 6:09 to play in the third, it was a 31-7 game.
The Cougars went 55 yards in 12 plays on their first possession, before three straight incompletions brought the drive to a halt and Emerson Ueber came on to knock home a 37-yard field goal. But with Miller off his game – he finished 5 of 14 for 48 yards – Saint Xavier dominated the clock rest of the quarter.
And eventually all that possession time took the visiting Cougars somewhere.
It happened on Saint Xaviers second possession of the second quarter, when the visitors, after repeatedly running aground short of the end zone, finally got there. Joshua Hunter got the touchdown to end a nine-play, 74-yard drive that ate up 4:36.