The Battle for 42nd Street turned out to be more of a pillow fight than a brawl Friday night at Kingston Stadium.
Xavier junior Reggie Schulte threw three touchdown passes and senior Carter Valentine ran for 152 yards to lead the No. 10 Saints past Kennedy, 28-0, in a Mississippi Valley Conference football opener.
Both teams lost a lot of key personnel from last year's teams, which both qualified for the playoffs. Kennedy beat Xavier, 11-7, in the playoffs after getting blown out by the Saints 35-7 in the season opener.
The Saints functioned like a team composed of veterans on both sides of the ball Friday. Xavier had 434 yards of total offense to just 142 for Kennedy. The Cougars had only 19 yards through the first three quarters.
"We just tried to execute. We preached all summer long to just do your job," Xavier Coach Duane Schulte said.
"That is a good team," Kennedy Coach Tim Lewis said of Xavier. "They do what they do very well."
What the Saints do best is run downhill behind a talented offensive line.
"Our offensive line blocked well and made the plays for us," said Valentine, whose 43-yard run on a draw play gave the Saints a first down at the Kennedy 11 on the first series of the game. Valentine, a state qualifier in the 110 hurdles last spring, carried the ball only eight times for 38 yards last season as backup to 1,000-yard rusher Pat Chizek.
"We were hoping we'd have something (special) there in him," Coach Schulte said. "He had an older brother, Mitch, who played for us and was a tough kid."
Reggie Schulte tossed a 2-yard touchdown pass to senior Kevin Hosch to cap the first drive and Chad Gilmer's PAT kick gave the Saints a 7-0 lead with 7:07 left in the first quarter.
The Saints struck quickly twice in the second quarter. Schulte fired touchdown passes of 26 and 43 yards to senior Jordan Hoffman and Xavier's lead shot to 21-0 with 8:20 left in the first half.
"Our offensive line made the blocks and our ends made a couple of good catches to make me look good," said Schulte, who was starting his first varsity game after guiding the sophomores to a 17-1 record the past two seasons. "I think we have some pretty good chemistry."
Schulte, who completed 8-of-13 passes for 179 yards, is the son of the coach, who was hesitant to heap praise upon his son.
"My son Reggie had some great teammates helping him," the elder Schulte said. "Hayden Fry used to always say 'Scratch where it itches.' We tried to do that. Our line blocked well on those (scoring) plays, our receivers made some good catches and Reggie made some good throws. We put it all together."
Kennedy senior defensive back Josh Jahlas, the Cougars' leading tackler from a year ago, said Xavier took advantage of some Cougar mistakes on the scoring plays.
"We had three blown coverages," he said. "I got caught cheating up inside they took advantage. Everything that happened is fixable, but we're going to have to fix it in a hurry because (Linn-Mar quarterback Mark) Atwater will do the same thing next week."
The Cougars, who started out the season 1-4 a year ago before running off six straight wins, play at No. 8 Linn-Mar (1-0) next Friday night.
"I'm not discouraged," Jahlas said. "We moved the ball but couldn't score when we got the ball down there."
Kennedy turned the ball over on downs in Xavier territory three times in the second half and also had two costly turnovers. Trailing 28-0, the Cougars fumbled into the end zone from the Saints 4 for a touchback with 7:12 left in the game. Three minutes later, Xavier junior Cal Stovie intercepted a pass at the 2 after the Cougars had reached the Saints' 7-yard line.
Xavier's defense was as impressive as its offense for three quarters, limiting Kennedy to 19 total yards. Eleven of Kennedy's 53 offensive plays went for negative yardage.
"We told the team all week about getting up to the speed of the game and we weren't ready," Lewis said. "I think they found out the coaches knew what they were talking about. We'll learn from that. I think we learned a lot tonight."
The only negative Coach Schulte could point out was the 10 penalties against the Saints.
"I don't know how many penalties we had, but it was too many," he said. "Other than that I thought we executed."
Xavier hosts Prairie (0-1) next Friday night.
Lewis said senior tight end Cody Whitham suffered a possible separated shoulder.
Xavier won the sophomore game, 7-3.
XAVIER 28, KENNEDY 0
Xavier 7 14 0 7 -- 28
Kennedy 0 0 0 0 -- 0
CRX -- Kevin Hosch 2 pass from Reggie Schulte (Chad Gilmer kick)
CRX -- Jordan Hoffman 26 pass from Schulte (Gilmer kick)
CRX -- Hoffman 43 pass from Schulte (Gilmer kick)
CRX -- Matt Hansen 3 run (Gilmer kick)
First downs -- CRX 19, CRK 10
Rushes yards -- CRX 47-255, CRK 25-43
Receiving yards -- CRX 179, CRK 99
Comp-Att-Int -- CRX 8-13-1, CRK 13-28-1
Punts-avg. -- CRX 2-28.0, CRK 6-38.3
Fumbles-lost -- CRX 3-1, CRK 1-1
Penalties-yards -- CRX 10-73, CRK 5-25
Rushing -- CRX: Carter Valentine 22-152, Matt Hansen 12-53, Cal Stovie 7-22, Jordan Weber 1-20, Nick Ball 1-20, Nick Hazelton 2-1, Reggie Schulte 2-(minus 13); CRK: Trevor Heitland 10-42, Chico Lizarraga 5-9, Josh Jahlas 2-(minus 2), Alexander Hillyer 8-(minus 6).
Passing -- CRX: Schulte 8-13-1-179; CRK: Lizarraga 13-28-1-99.
Receiving -- CRX: Corbin Woods 3-50, Jordan Hoffman 2-69, Kevin Hosch 2-18, Weber 1-42; CRK: Jahlas 4-40, Hillyer 3-14, Shane Williams 3-13, Heitland 1-26, Cody Whitham 1-6, Benjamin Struss 1-0.
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