Daily Herald's 2017 Season Coverage
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updated: 9/16/2016 11:33 PM

Five interceptions help Benet pick up victory vs. St. Viator

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  • Daniel White/dwhite@dailyherald.comMug shot of Danny O'Malley,  a member of the 2016 Benet Academy football team.

    Daniel White/dwhite@dailyherald.comMug shot of Danny O'Malley, a member of the 2016 Benet Academy football team.

By Phil Brozynski
Daily Herald Correspondent

Cooney, O'Malley and Reid sounds like a law firm. They certainly presented a pretty good defense Friday.

Ben Cooney had 3 interceptions and Danny O'Malley and Connor Reid each had 1, and Benet's front seven limited St. Viator's explosive running back Darreonta Jackson to just 58 yards on 18 carries as the Redwings defeated the Lions 33-14 at Benedictine University in Lisle.

Cooney's 3 picks Friday gave the 5-foot-10, 155-pound junior 6 interceptions through four games.

"Our defensive line had a great pass rush up front and caused some bad throws," Cooney said. "Our defensive backs were in the right spot."

Cooney often found himself lined up against St. Viator's 6-foot-5, 235-pound wide receiver Cole Kmet, who is committed to Notre Dame. Kmet, who missed St. Viator's first three games following a bout of mononucleosis, finished with 5 catches for 92 yards.

"There's not much you can do," Cooney said. "He's a great player. We had a lot of help over the top. We were pretty much double-teaming him every play. So a lot of credit to everyone else on the defense. We played a very good game."

After St. Viator scored on Tom Majerus' 1-yard sneak on the first play of the second quarter, Benet (3-1, 2-0 East Suburban Catholic Conference) pulled even on a 22-yard touchdown pass from Jack Sznajder to Jack Eschenbach 1:07 before halftime.

St. Viator (2-2, 1-1) regained the lead on the first play of the second half on a 68-yard halfback pass from Jackson to Marc Clark, but Benet needed only 13 seconds to respond when Sznajder connected with Nicholas Keyes on an 80-yard catch and run.

Marty Dosen gave Benet the lead for good with a 21-yard touchdown run three minutes later, and Victor Karam added field goals of 38 and 34 yards before Sznajder closed the scoring with a 1-yard sneak with just 58 seconds left in the contest.

"We played good defense," said Benet coach Patrick New. "We were worried about Cole Kmet being in the game. He's a great player. That was a concern. Really, St. Viator is a balanced team and we have to be balanced to match that.

"Offensively, we played better," the coach added, "We knew we were going to start clicking here. I think we're only going to get better offensively as the year goes on."

Fans and foes should look for Cooney to start making an impact on the other side of the ball, too, New said.

"Cooney is one of top players on the team," the coach said. "He's a threat offensively, too. We just haven't gotten him the ball enough on offense. He plays hard and he's got a nose for the ball on defense. He's just one of those kids who has a knack. He's just a great football player."

Majerus finished with 13 completions on 28 attempts for 159 yards for St. Viator.

"We battled like crazy," said St. Viator coach Dave Archibald. "Benet is a good football team. We were battling. I would have liked to run the ball more, sure, but we'll be back next week to play hard again."

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