ROME, Ga. — Jimmy Coy accounted for 294 yards and two touchdowns, Mark Williams knocked down a fourth-down pass in the end zone with 2 minutes left and St. Xavier won its first NAIA football title with a 24-20 victory over defending champion Carroll of Helena on Saturday.
Coy, a senior transfer from NCAA Division II Valdosta State, completed 28 of 43 passes for 216 yards and a touchdown, and ran for 78 yards and a score on 16 carries. He was selected the offensive player of the game.
St. Xavier (14-1) was making its first championship appearance after losing in the semifinals three of the past four years. The loss kept Carroll (13-2) from a seventh title, which would have tied the NAIA record.
Jared Mayernik returned the second-half kickoff 94 yards to give Carroll its only lead. But the Saints missed the extra point and St. Xavier drove 67 yards to go back ahead on K.J. Franklin’s 4-yard run early in the third quarter.