Boyle lights it up in Benet triumph

In the waning moments of Benet's 49-28 season-opening victory over host St. Laurence on Friday, Redwings linebacker Devin Petersen might have had the understatement of the evening.

"Matt Boyle went off today," Petersen said among a group of players on the Benet sideline, and there was no doubt about the veracity of that statement.

In his first varsity start Boyle, a senior, looked like a video-game quarterback.

He threw for 234 yards on 13-for-19 passing, including a pair of touchdowns to senior receivers Jack Eschenbach and Ben Cooney.

But his real damage came on the ground. He rushed for 137 yards on 19 carries and 4 touchdowns, including 3 in the third quarter that put away the feisty Vikings (0-1).

"Matt Boyle was outstanding tonight," said Benet coach Pat New. "He looked amazing. I knew he had potential and his arm got stronger in the off-season, so he's been very effective for us."

But for all of Boyle's exploits, he gave credit where credit was due.

"Me and Jack Eschenbach have been staying after practice all week working on timing and stuff," Boyle said. "That really paid off tonight."

It did, and early. In Benet's opening drive, Boyle hooked up with Eschenbach on a go route for a 42-yard touchdown pass, culminating a drive that took just 1:40 to orchestrate. Boyle dropped back and fired a perfect spiral that Eschenbach caught before scampering into the right corner of the end zone.

Boyle was just getting started. Later in the first quarter, he dropped back on a first-and-5 and lofted a 46-yard scoring pass to Cooney. Cooney caught the ball along Benet's sideline, cut inside, then cut back outside and ended up in the same place Eschenbach had scored.

"He has really good vision, I feel like," Eschenbach said of Boyle. "I feel like sometimes he's looking at me, and all of a sudden switches views and hits someone else."

Boyle added a rushing touchdown before the end of the first half, but that was just a preview of things to come in the second.

He scored on a 1-yard run with 9:08 left in the third quarter, then got loose for a 49-yard touchdown run at 4:11, putting Benet up 42-14.

The Redwings (1-0) never looked back, and that led to a relieved New, whose team avenged a 31-21 loss to the Vikings to open last season. Winning on the road to open a season ain't easy.

"Oh, it's tough," he said. "We feel like we could never put them away until the end."

Eschenbach led Benet with 105 receiving yards in 6 catches, while Cooney had 67 yards on a pair of catches.

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