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Lindenwood University-Belleville
(13)Saint Xavier
Football - Sat, Sep. 16, 2017

CHICAGO, Ill. – Earning their first shutout victory in five years, No. 13 Saint Xavier rolled to a 45-0 victory over the visiting Lindenwood-Belleville Lynx on Saturday night at Deaton Field.

Box Score | Season Stats

The Cougars (3-0) looked dominant on both sides of the ball, racking up 471 yards of total offense in the win, while holding the Lynx (0-3) to just 101, for an average of less than two yards per snap.

Junior quarterback Justin Hunniford (North Central [Ill.] / Frankfort, Ill.) threw for four TD passes in the win, going 20-for-31 for 196 yards after sitting out much of the second half as the Cougars built their lead. Senior running back Mike Ivlow (Joliet Catholic Academy / Channahon, Ill.) would put his name in the SXU record books in the third quarter, when he took off for a 98-yard touchdown run, the longest rush in program history. Ivlow finished with 189 yards, the third-most ever by a Cougar in a single game.

After both teams started the game with stalled drives, SXU would get on the board midway through the first quarter, driving 65 yards in 10 plays resulting in a four-yard TD pass from Hunniford to Harold Davis (Joliet Catholic Academy / Joliet, Ill.). The duo would team up two more times on the night, as Davis would collect 45 yards and three TDs on six catches.

Abdul Mahdi (Bogan HS / Chicago, Ill.)'s 28-yard field goal gave SXU a 10-0 lead at the end of the first quarter, then on the first play of the second period, Hunniford connected with Davis again, this time from 13 yards out for their second TD to put the Cougars ahead 17-0.

Saint Xavier would put together a 31-0 lead by halftime, with two more touchdowns from Hunniford. Nick Czeszewski (Oak Forest HS / Oak Forest, Ill.) grabbed a 45-yard TD reception, and Davis caught his third touchdown midway through the second quarter.

After Ivlow's record-breaking run increased the lead by another seven points, senior rusher Esau Hemphill (Austin Community HS / Chicago, Ill.) closed out the night with a five-yard TD run with 1:13 remaining in the third period, capping a 10-play, 43-yard drive.

The Lindenwood-Belleville offense would see just 11 snaps in SXU territory, as the Cougar defense forced 12 punts in the win. Linebacker Josh Hettiger (Richards HS / Oak Lawn, Ill.) finished with nine tackles to lead the team, including two and a half sacks, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. Derrick Hosselton (Olivet Nazarene [Ill.] / Manteno, Ill.) also recovered a fumble, along with six tackles and a sack.

With the win, Saint Xavier improves to 3-0 for the first time since 2012, when the team finished 11-2 with an NAIA national semifinal appearance. A big test for the Cougars looms next Saturday, when they travel to take on No. 1 St. Francis (Ind.). Kickoff from Fort Wayne is set for 5:00 p.m. CDT.