Anyone still wondering if Benet football is for real?
Friday might have been your reality check.
The Redwings stunned everyone — including themselves — with Friday’s 49-0 East Suburban Catholic Conference win over Nazareth at Lisle’s Benedictine University.
Six-foot-six sophomore quarterback Jack Beneventi shredded Nazareth’s vaunted defense that next to Benet was the toughest ESCC team to score on heading into the game. Beneventi completed 13 of 17 passes for 300 yards and 4 touchdowns, including a 55-yard touchdown to Jack Euritt on his final attempt two minutes into the third quarter.
“Everyone was in a great rhythm today,” said Beneventi, who completed his first 8 passes. “The line blocked very well, our running backs did great, the receivers made big plays. They did everything for it. I just throw it there. They make the catch, make all the moves, run down the field.”
Beneventi’s final touchdown, Euritt’s second, put Benet (6-1, 3-1) ahead 35-0. The running clock came into play less than four minutes later when Porter Ontko sprinted past the defense for a 37-yard touchdown run.
Even with ESCC heavy hitters Marist (7-0, 5-0) and Joliet Catholic (5-2, 4-1) coming in the next two weeks, the Redwings’ effort Friday makes them a realistic challenger for the conference title.
“I’m very excited, Marist is the top of the hill right now,” said Redwings defensive lineman Charles Melka, who notched 2 sacks as Benet earned its fourth shutout. “Whoever bumps off Marist can win the ESCC. And JC, they’re a great football team and has a ton of tradition. We have to come and play.”
Beneventi set the tone on the game’s second play with a 61-yard slant pass touchdown to Jack Toner, who had 4 catches for 139 yards and added a 51-yard scoring catch late in the second quarter. Euritt snared 5 catches for 116 yards.
Nick McTarnaghan broke up the passing touchdowns with a 15-yard scoring run, and Tyler Dale wrapped up the scoring with a 6-yard fourth-quarter run.
Led by Melka, Benet’s defense rolled up 4 sacks and held the Roadrunners (3-4, 1-4) to 118 yards of total offense.
“We clicked on all cylinders, which is what we needed,” said Benet coach Pat New. “We’ve always had a great defensive game, and we needed to put it together on both sides of the ball, which we did tonight.”
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