News Photo
48
VS
13
(24)Saint Xavier
Missouri Baptist University
Football - Sat, Sep. 9, 2017

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – In his first start of the season, sophomore quarterback Alex Martinez (St. Laurence HS / Burbank, Ill.) tallied six touchdown passes, just one short of the Saint Xavier single-game record, as the 24th-ranked Cougars earned a dominant road win, 48-13 over the Missouri Baptist Spartans.

Box Score | Season Stats

Martinez collected 346 yards on 24-of-37 passing in the win, as the Cougars (2-0) took control of the game on the very first drive. The SXU defense would force a fumble on the opening drive of the game, recovered by Josh Hettiger (Richards HS / Oak Lawn, Ill.) at the Cougar 39-yardline. Three plays later, Martinez would find Mark Strbjak (Northern Illinois / Munster, Ind.) for the nine-yard TD reception and Saint Xavier were off to the races.

The SXU defense would not allow the Spartans (0-2) beyond midfield in their next six possessions, with four drives going three-and-out. In the meantime, the Cougars would build up a 28-0 advantage midway through the second quarter, with two touchdown passes to Nick Czeszewski (SO/Oak Forest, Ill.), and a Mike Ivlow (Joliet Catholic Academy / Channahon, Ill.) 18-yard TD run. Missouri Baptist would get on the board before the end of the half, going 50 yards in seven plays resulting in a 13-yard TD pass. The following PAT was blocked by Jesse Gonzales (Minnesota State-Mankato / Merrionette Park, Ill.), keeping the halftime score 28-6.

The Cougars would hit the gas pedal in the third quarter, scoring on their first three drives of the second half. Martinez orchestrated an 11-play, 83-yard drive, finishing with a one-yard touchdown pass to Harold Davis (Joliet Catholic Academy / Joliet, Ill.). After another MBU three-and-out, the sophomore would throw his longest pass of the day, a 66-yard touchdown to Czeszewski for a 41-6 advantage. Following the Spartans' second scoring drive of the day, Martinez found Davis again for a 15-yard TD pass to end up at the final 48-13 score.

Both sides would trade punts throughout the fourth quarter, with Missouri Baptist having one drive stall out at the 26-yardline due to a lost fumble, and another inside the ten yardline as time expired.

Czeszewski led the Cougar receiving corps with three touchdown catches and 134 yards, with four receptions. Davis and Strbjak each tallied a team-high six catches, finishing with 78 and 39 yards, respectively. Mike Ivlow reached 100 yards rushing for the first time this year, finishing with 104 yards and one TD on 11 carries. Defensively, Hettiger collected eight tackles with one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Tionte McDaniel (Thornton Township HS / Markham, Ill.) grabbed the first SXU interception of the season along with three tackles.

The Cougars return home next Saturday, September 16, when they host Lindenwood-Belleville and go for their third win of the year. Kickoff from Deaton Field against the Lynx is set for 6:00 p.m.