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For the second straight week, St. Viator went toe-to-toe with one of the state's elite.
For the second straight week the Lions ran out of gas in the second half.
After falling 28-14 last week to Notre Dame, St. Viator dropped a 38-14 East Suburban Catholic Conference decision to Benet Academy (6-0, 3-0) on Friday at Benedictine University.
Last week the Lions (3-3, 1-3) were tied 7-7 with Notre Dame, ranked No. 9 by Associated Press in Class 8A, at intermission, while this week trailing only 14-7 after 24 minutes of play.
"We are in these games," St. Viator coach Brandon New said. "We obviously do not know how to finish so it's back to the drawing boards."
The Redwings jumped on the Lions early, riding the arm of quarterback Jack Beneventi. The standout signal-caller completed all four of his passes on the opening drive to help set-up a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Nick McTarnaghan.
Benet marched 62 yards on the drive which covered 10 plays.
"Rhythm is key for us to keep it going and moving the chains," Beneventi said of the early start. "A lot of the times when we stay stagnant that's when our three-and-outs happen."
The Lions answered with a scoring drive of their own to tie the game on their next possession. Brian Peters capped off a 7-play 80-yard drive with a 3-yard run up the middle.
St. Viator quarterback Bobby Calmeyn (23 of 41, 244 yards) helped set the scoring play up by completing a 52-yard pass to Ben Dickey (7 receptions, 95 yards).
Beneventi found Patrick Peterson midway through the second frame from 11 yards out to give the Redwings a 14-7 lead at the break. Then the Lions started to self-destruct.
Two interceptions, a blocked punt, two turnover on downs, penalties and dropped passes by the Lions helped Benet build a commanding lead in the second half.
The first interception in the second half — second of the game for Calmeyn — halted 12-play drive on its opening possession after the break. Nick Surges picked off the pass that caromed off a Lions receiver and raced 60 yards for an apparent touchdown. But after Surges was flagged for taunting on his way to the end zone, the score was waved off and the ball was placed at the Lions 20.
Benet wasted no time getting the 6 points back. Beneventi found Surges for a gain of 13 yards to set up first and goal before hitting Joe Weidenbach for a 7-yard score on the second play.
"Trailing just 14-7, I thought we were in the game," New said. "Absolutely too many mistakes. That has been a trend for us the last few weeks and we are not good enough to overcome those mistakes."
After a 29-yard field goal by John Duvic, Brad Sznajder capped the Redwings' scoring with 37- and 90-yard scoring runs. Sznajder finished the game with a game-high 208 yards rushing on just 17 totes.
Beneventi completed 17 of 28 passes for 167 yards and two scores.
"We always try to be 50/50 on our passing and running games," Benet coach Pat New said. "I thought Jack was on his game tonight, and Brad really complemented him well in the running game."
The Benet defense limited Lions leading rusher Joey McIntrye to just 29 yards on 19 carriers.
"Our defense played outstanding tonight," Beneventi said. "They are always stepping up for us. They kept us staying alive and gave our offense more chances to get it going."
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