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Football - Thu, Sep. 14, 2017
 #13 Saint Xavier (2-0) vs. Lindenwood-Belleville (2-0)
Saturday, September 16 | 6:00 p.m.
Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field | Chicago, Ill.
Live Stats | Live Video | Pregame Notes
 
 

Kickoff
• #13 Saint Xavier returns home this Saturday, to take on the Lindenwood-Belleville Lynx, beginning at 6:00 p.m. at Deaton Field.

• The Cougars and Lynx are meeting for the first time in program history; Lindenwood-Belleville began their football program in 2012, and joined the MSFA Mideast League in 2014.

• Saint Xavier is celebrating the 25th season of Saint Xavier football in 2017.

• The Cougars will look to start the season 3-0 for the first time since 2012.

• Quarterbacks Justin Hunniford (North Central [Ill.] / Frankfort, Ill.) and Alex Martinez (St. Laurence HS / Burbank, Ill.) have split time under center so far this year. Hunniford was named the starter in SXU's season-opening win over No. 5 Marian on Aug. 31, while Martinez got the call last weekend at Missouri Baptist, putting up 48 points against the Spartans.

• SXU will go for their fourth straight win over the MSFA Mideast League, dating back to last season's 25-21 victory over No. 23 Concordia on Oct. 8, 2016.

 

Series History
• With no previous meetings between Lindenwood-Belleville and Saint Xavier, the Lynx become the 56th unique opponent in SXU history.

• Lindenwood-Belleville is the 11th opponent from the state of Illinois.

• SXU is a combined 64-30 against programs from the Prairie State.

 

Last Time Out
• The 24th-ranked Cougars picked up their first road win of the year last Saturday, 48-13 at Missouri Baptist

• Sophomore quarterback Alex Martinez matched his career high, and finished just shy of tying a school record, with six passing touchdowns. Martinez finished the game with 346 passing yards, completing 24 of 37 passes.

• Wideout Nick Czeszewski (Oak Forest HS / Oak Forest, Ill.) tallied 134 receiving yards, the second-highest total in the MSFA so far this season. The sophomore also had three TD catches, tied for most by any player in the league this season.

• Running back Mike Ivlow (Joliet Catholic Academy / Channahon, Ill.) recorded his first career 100-yard game, collecting 104 yards and one TD on 11 carries.

Tionte McDaniel (Thornton Township HS / Markham, Ill.) grabbed the Cougar's first interception of the year, while Josh Hettiger (Richards HS / Oak Lawn, Ill.)'s seven tackles led the defense.

 

About Lindenwood-Belleville
• The Lynx are searching for their first win of the year after opening the season with losses to Olivet Nazarene and at St. Ambrose.

• LU-B are in the midst of a 12-game losing streak; their last win came in the final game of 2015 at Concordia, 34-31.

• Lindenwood-Belleville's pass defense ranks 29th in the MSFA this season, allowing just 187.0 passing yards per game.

• Senior tight end Donnie Foster was an All-MSFA Second Team pick last year, and has seven catches for 66 yards and one TD in 2017. Junior tight end Tyler McNair leads the team with eight receptions and 73 yards.

• Quarterback Brian Chester is averaging 192.5 passing yards per game, with two touchdowns and three interceptions, but has been sacked a combined 12 times over both games this year.

 

Offensive Leaders
• Junior quarterback Justin Hunniford ranks 2nd in the MSFA in passing efficiency (184.2), and 7th in passing yards (212.5 ypg), and total offense (219.5 ypg).

• In the win over Marian on Aug. 31, Hunniford became the first Cougar to throw for over 400 yards since 2015. John Rhode recorded 539 yards in the NAIA FCS first round game at No. 1 Morningside on Nov. 21, 2015, in a four-overtime affair.

• Three players rank among the top seven in the MSFA in receiving yards: Nick Czeszewski (132.5 ypg, 1st), Harold Davis (Joliet Catholic Academy / Joliet, Ill.) (93.0 ypg, T-4th), and Chris Simmons (Nazareth Academy / LaGrange Park, Ill.) (74.5, 9th).

• Kicker Abdul Mahdi (Bogan HS / Chicago, Ill.) has the only made field goal of over 50 yards in the NAIA this season. The senior is 2nd in the league among kickers, with 7.0 points per game.

 

Defensive Leaders
• Two players are among the top ten tacklers in the MSFA after Week 2. Tionte McDaniel leads the Cougars with 9.5 tackles per game (T-3rd in MSFA), while Josh Hettiger has 8.0 (T-10th).

• Junior lineman Anthony Kowalczyk (Steinmetz HS / Chicago, Ill.) is 5th in the league with 2.5 sacks on the year, all coming last Saturday at Missouri Baptist

Dmitri Joe (Nazareth Academy / LaGrange Park, Ill.) is averaging 1.5 tackles for loss each game, placing him 7th on the MSFA leaderboard.

 

Players of the Week
• Saint Xavier has taken four out of the six possible MSFA Midwest League Player of the Week awards so far this season.

• On Sept. 4, the Cougars swept the three weekly honors, as Justin Hunniford was named Offensive Player of the Week, Dmitri Joe earned Defensive Player of the Week honors, and Abdul Mahdi was tagged as Special Teams Player of the Week.

• On Monday, quarterback Alex Martinez was tagged as the MSFA Midwest League's Offensive Player of the Week after a six-TD performance at Missouri Baptist. 

 

Bruce R. Deaton Field
• Saint Xavier holds an all-time record at Deaton Field of 92-44 (.676).

• Since the installation of FieldTurf at Deaton Field in 2006, the Cougars are 60-10 (.857).

• The Cougars have finished with a perfect home record four times: 2002, 2009, 2010, and 2011.

• From 2009-12, SXU won a program-record 24 consecutive home games.

 

Cougar Football History
• Saint Xavier is 166-111 (.599) all-time, in their 25th season of competition.

• The Cougars won the 2011 NAIA National Championship, which remains the most recent and 11th-ever college football national championship in the state of Illinois.

• Saint Xavier is one of only six college football programs in the state of Illinois to claim a national title, and only the second in the city of Chicago. The Cougars' championship was the first for the city since the University of Chicago's national championship in 1905, ending a 106-year drought. 

• The Cougars have won seven MSFA titles, with four Midwest League championships (2002-03, 2005, 2015), and three titles while competing in the Mideast League (2009-10, 2012).

• SXU has ten appearances in the NAIA Football Championship Series, and holds an all-time postseason record of 15-9 (.625).

 

Cougars in the Polls
• Saint Xavier climbed 11 spots this week, improving to No. 13 in the latest NAIA Coaches' Poll, released on Tuesday.

• The team's 11-spot jump is the largest ever for the program between back-to-back polls.

• Saint Xavier opened the 2017 season with a No. 24 ranking in the NAIA Preseason Coaches Poll, released Aug. 7.

• SXU has been ranked a total of 180 weeks in the NAIA Coaches' Poll, dating back to 1999.

• In 14 polls the Cougars held the No. 1 ranking, most recently in the first five weeks of 2012.

• SXU was ranked No. 1 for a program-record eight consecutive polls in the 2011 season (Sept. 12 - Oct. 31)

 

Cougars on the Air

• Saint Xavier football radio broadcasts can be found on WXAV 88.3 FM.

• Live video broadcasts of home games can be found at SXUCougars.com/LIVE, with links to road broadcasts on the season schedule at SXUCougars.com.