THE F I G HT I N G S A I N T S
Fighting Saints Roundup The USF cross country teams posted their best combined finish at the
for 1,942 yards, 22 touchdowns and just eight interceptions. He finished
2018 NAIA National Championships. The Saints took third on the
the season 16th in the NAIA in passing efficiency (148.2) and added five
men’s side and a program-best eighth in the women’s race, leading to a
rushing scores. Butkus wrapped up his time with USF among the
school-record second-place performance in the combined standings.
program’s career leaders in passing yards (6,630), passing touchdowns
Freshman Omar Paramo and senior Gabe Ceballos were both named
(62) and completions (537).
NAIA All-Americans, finishing 20th and 27th respectively in the men’s race. The teams also swept the CCAC Championships for the third straight year.
USF football players Brandon Ruffin and Dwayne Milton both set multiple program records in the fall. Ruffin became the Saints’ all-time leader
St. Francis quarterback Don Butkus was the first player from the NAIA to
in receiving yards (2,597) and touchdowns (34), passing former teammate
be nominated for the Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year award.
and 2017 NAIA All-American Lexus Jackson. Milton broke a pair of
Butkus was one of 30 student-athletes from all levels of college football
31-year-old school records, rushing for the most yards in a game (249 vs.
chosen for overcoming injury, illness or other challenges. After suffering a
Lindenwood-Belleville) and a single season (1,059). USF alumnus John
season-ending hamstring injury early in the 2017 campaign, Butkus
Larsen set both rushing records in 1987. Both Ruffin and Milton will return
returned to action in 2018 and completed over 57 percent of his throws
for their senior seasons in 2019.
Above: The Saints cross country teams had another successful season, including sweeping the CCAC Championships. At right, top to bottom: Fighting Saints football standouts Don Butkus, Brandon Ruffin and Dwayne Milton.
Engaging Mind & Spirit Magazine