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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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Updated April 17, 2021

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