Let’s get to the bottom of the latest sports scandal: a college football player with no arrest record leads the entire nation in scoring! Mike Maher, better known to my readers as “M Squared” in stories about the Saint Xavier Cougars leads all college scoring. The following courtesy of the SXU Sports Information Department:
CHICAGO – If asked to guess where college football’s top scorer is playing this season, most fans and followers would likely choose a Bowl Championship Series (BCS) school or maybe even a NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) program with a rich history of football success. However, the real answer lies at a small NAIA institution nestled in the south suburbs of Chicago. Saint Xavier University senior wide receiver Mike Maher (Plainfield, Ill./Providence Catholic) has posted 78 points over four games this season behind 13 touchdowns (10 receptions, three kick returns). The next highest scorer is NCAA Division II University of Minnesota-Duluth’s senior running back Isaac Odim, who has tallied 60 points (10 TDs) over three games.
In terms of scoring average, Maher ranks third (19.5 points per game) in all of college football (all divisions, including junior college) behind NCAA Division III Thomas More College’s (Ky.) freshman running back Domonique Hayden with 54 points over two games (27.0 points per game) and Odim (20.0 ppg). Maher has had the start to his senior season that every college student-athlete dreams about. He currently has 31 receptions for 508 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns (three off kick returns). The 5-10, 185-pound speedster has also returned either a kickoff or a punt for a score in each of his last three games and, most importantly, his team is off to a 4-0 start and ranked No. 4 in the latest NAIA Top 25 Football Coaches’ Poll. Maher’s 508 receiving yards this fall currently ranks him No. 2 among all college football institutions in total receiving yards behind only NCAA Division III Wittenberg University (Ohio) junior wideout Josh McKee. McKee has 514 receiving yards in three games after Saturday’s big game that saw him finish with 318 yards and five touchdowns in a 37-7 win over Washington-St. Louis (Mo.).
“Mike is an absolutely dominant player at our level,” said SXU football coach Mike Feminis. “In my mind, he’s a Division I-type caliber athlete who, luckily for us, slipped through the cracks. We give a “Play of the Day” award after each game and we might as well rename it the “Maher Play of the Day,” because he wins it just about every week. Mike’s a human highlight reel, but what makes him so special is his incredible work ethic and desire to be successful. The only negative about Mike is that he’s too hard on himself. He hates to fail. Every coach uses the phrase, ‘play every play like it’s your last.’ That’s Mike Maher in a nutshell.”
Maher will get the chance to add to his scoring total on Saturday, September 25, when the Cougars head to Quincy, Ill., to take on Quincy University (Ill.) in a Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) crossover match-up. The game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. kickoff.