CEDAR RAPIDS — Cedar Rapids Xavier’s football team can use one hand to count the number of regular-season losses it has incurred these past half-dozen years.
Can use just one finger, actually. Another perfect regular season officially is in the books after Friday night’s 39-0 win over Benton Community at Saints Field.
Xavier Coach Duane Schulte expressed a bit of surprise when informed of this bit of impressiveness. He was asked how it has been accomplished.
“The first thing that says to me is the players are doing their jobs and buying into what we want them to do,” he said. “Then it seems like the younger guys see that and want to uphold the same kind of tradition and legacy. It sounds kind of corny, but I think that’s what has happened.”
Xavier (7-0) is top ranked and highly dangerous as it heads into the playoffs next week. Quarterback Jaxon Rexroth and running back Jack Lux each accounted for three touchdowns here, with the continous clock rolling after Rexroth’s 47-yard scoring run to begin the second half.
Only Western Dubuque has been able to solve the Saints over these past six regular seasons, that coming en route to the Class 3A state championship last year. Xavier won it all in 2017 and 2018.
“I just think everybody is getting into a groove,” said Lux, who had 103 yards rushing and another 52 yards in receptions. “That’s kind of how it is each week. Teams are going to get better. You can’t really count on Week 1 stats or anything. It’s Week 7 now, and guys have been working hard seven straight weeks ... You take every opponent seriously and come ready to play each week.”
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Xavier forced Benton (3-4) to go three and out on the opening possession of the game, with a short punt giving the Saints the ball at the Bobcats 33. Rexroth eventually sneaked in from the 1 for a touchdowns.
Another Benton three and out was followed by another short punt that gave Xavier good field position on its second possession. Lux eventually plowed over from 3 yards out for the score.
It was a 32-0 game at halftime, about the only thing Xavier doing wrong was missing an extra point and having another one blocked.
“I think the first possession always sets the game tone,” said Xavier tackle Michael Steffen. “If we’re slow and not coming off the ball, then we’re probably going to have a crap game. But if we’re fast and driving them back, that just sets the game tone for defense and offense.”
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