S. Illinois tops SE Louisiana 55-48, bolsters playoff odds

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Justin Strong had 16 carries for 159 yards and two touchdowns, Javon Williams Jr. ran 24 times for 150 yards and two scores, and Southern Illinois beat Southeastern Louisiana 55-48 on Saturday in the regular-season finale for both teams.

Williams also hit Jacob Grant for a 56-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown to give Southern Illinois (5-3) the lead for good at 48-41 late in the third quarter.

Southern Illinois, ranked No. 18 in the STATS FCS poll, and 17th-ranked SLU combined for the highest-scoring game in the history of Salukis Stadium. The previous mark was 99, set when SIU beat Missouri State 73-26 on October 10, 2015.

Stone Labanowitz was 20-of-24 passing for 328 yards and two touchdowns and added a 4-yard TD run. Landon Lenoir had seven receptions for 128 yards and a score and Avante Cox had eight catches for 127 yards, including a 47-yard touchdown.

Cole Kelley completed 34 of 43 passes for 418 yards a two touchdowns and added scoring runs of 1, 3 and 13 yards for Southeastern Louisiana (4-3).

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