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updated: 9/22/2012 12:04 AM

Benet ends ESCC skid in big way

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By Mike Krizman
Daily Herald Correspondent

Benet's first East Suburban Catholic Conference victory in two years came in dominating fashion.

The Redwings, however, needed an entire quarter before their offense finally started to click.

Powered by a 50-yard touchdown run from Porter Ontko in the second quarter, along with a stingy defense that held Marian Catholic (0-5, 0-2) to just 64 yards of total offense, Benet came away with a 44-6 Homecoming victory over the visiting Spartans on Friday night.

Ontko's 50-yard score came on a play where teammate Jack Toner laid a pancake block along the edge to spring the junior running back into the end zone.

"Jack's a great team player. Any college would want him," Ontko said. "He does anything for the team to help us win."

The first quarter saw the Redwings go three-and-out on their first series, followed by a 15-play, 53-yard drive that resulted in a 25-yard field goal by John Duvic.

But Benet (4-1, 1-1) finally got its offense going in the second quarter after Ontko's run, the first of two touchdowns for him on the night.

Marian Catholic running back Dillon Burns fumbled on the first play of the Spartans' ensuing series, and Benet recovered at Marian's 24-yard line.

On the next play Redwings junior running back Nick McTarnaghan scored on the same play call as Ontko's touchdown run, this time running along the left sideline and into the end zone for a 17-0 lead.

The Benet defense forced the Spartans into two more three-and-out series, which resulted in 10 more Redwing points before halftime -- a 5-yard touchdown run by Ontko and a 25-yard field goal by Duvic as the first-half clock wound down to zero.

In total Benet's defense held Marian Catholic to minus-20 yards rushing, 5 yards receiving and only 2 first downs in the first half.

"We just had a lot of people flying to the ball," senior linebacker Jack Crain said. "When we gang tackle, we're hard to get past."

Crain helped put the game away with a 1-yard touchdown run of his own midway through the third quarter, giving the Redwings a 34-0 lead. The touchdown was set up by a 50-yard interception return from Toner on Marian Catholic's previous offensive possession.

The Spartans, without the services of injured starting quarterback Patrick Schmidt, played most of the game with their third-string quarterback, Ki-Jana Crawford, after backup Eric Hurley rolled his ankle early in the game.

Marian Catholic's only score came on a 45-yard touchdown run from Troy Nutall at the 7:08 mark of the fourth quarter.

Benet running back Tyler Dale put an exclamation point on the evening with a 15-yard touchdown run late in the game.

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