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After a pair of disappointing East Suburban Catholic Conference losses, St. Viator knew exactly what it needed to do in Friday's nonconference football game against South Bend Washington at Forest View.
The Lions put in a good week of practice and got back on track with a dominant 45-6 victory over the winless Panthers, sending the enthusiastic homecoming crowd home smiling.
"This game and the next two are games (at Marian Catholic and at home against St. Patrick) we have to have," St. Viator coach Brandon New said of his team's playoff prospects. "We had a good week of practice."
That translated to a very good first half, as the Lions (4-3) exploded for 28 second-quarter points to lead 38-0 before intermission.
Bobby Calmeyn led the offensive surge by completing 20-of-22 passes for 302 yards — all in the first half — and 4 touchdowns, two each to Ben Dickey (6 catches for 89 yards) and Matt Darling (6 receptions for 154 yards).
"He's one of the best pure passers in the state," New said. "He does a great job. Those are pretty impressive numbers."
Joey McIntyre's running kept the Panthers (0-7) off balance, as well, with 81 yards on 19 carries, including a 1-yard touchdown.
"Everybody does their job," Calmeyn said. "The O line always makes my job easy."
He said linemen Charles Walberg, Andrew Hansen, Jack Brandt, Conor Brennan, Tommy Madaras and Tom Gorman blocked well and protected him on passing plays.
"This win definitely helps our confidence," Darling said. "It helps us prepare for Marian next week. The offense looked pretty good.
"We knew what we were expecting (in winless Washington), and we had to keep our heads right," Darling said.
The Lions scored on every second-quarter possession until time expired at halftime.
Calmeyn's 26-yard pass to Dickey made 17-0 with 10:48 left in the quarter. His 5-yard pass to Darling at the 6:31 mark was followed by a quick turnover and a second pass to Darling, this one from 41 yards out, just 15 seconds later, which gave St. Viator a 31-0 lead.
McIntyre gave the Lions a 38-0 halftime lead when he scored with 2:02 left in the half.
Junior Tyler Johnston connected with Darling on a 34-yard scoring pass with 3:48 left in the third quarter to start the running clock the rest of the night with the Lions leading 45-0.
The Panthers averted a fourth consecutive shutout when Antwon Ivery caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from Tyler White in the waning minutes of the contest.
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