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Daily Herald's 2017 Season Coverage
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updated: 9/2/2017 1:54 AM

Game-ending FG drops Benet

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  • Video: Notre Dame 17, Benet 14

 
 

Notre Dame junior Danny Simon knew at some point he'd notch his first varsity field goal.

With two seconds left in Friday's football game against Benet, it happened.

Simon calmly and easily kicked a 34-yard field goal as time expired to give the Dons a 17-14 victory over Benet at Lisle's Benedictine University.

It was a heartbreaking finish for the Redwings (1-1), who tied the game 14-14 with two minutes, 31 seconds remaining when Matt Boyle threw a 9-yard scoring pass to Ben Hickey and Victor Karam converted the extra point.

Starting at their own 26-yard line, the Dons (2-0) marched 58 yards in nine plays -- none more important than Ty Gavin's 27-yard gain on a reverse on third-and-12 to drive Notre Dame to Benet's 19. Three plays later, Simon had his moment.

"I wasn't expecting it, but I was sure ready for it," Simon said. "I was getting ready as soon as we got the kickoff (after Benet's touchdown). I was mentally preparing myself for that kick and got out there and made it."

Notre Dame outgained Benet 149-35 in total yards in the first half, but the Redwings kept the halftime deficit at 7-0. Benet tied the game with 4:57 left in the third quarter when a 13-play, 67-yard drive culminated in Sean Theisen's 1-yard touchdown run.

The Dons answered on their next possession, however, when Gavin tossed an 8-yard touchdown pass to Ray Neylon for a 14-7 lead. After rolling up more than 400 yards and 49 points in a Week 1 win over St. Laurence, Benet couldn't get its offense going consistently against a tough Dons defensive line.

"The first half we just couldn't get anything going," said Benet coach Pat New. "We got it going in the second half, but then we couldn't stop them. It was just one of those games where we weren't really in rhythm, but Notre Dame will do that to you. They're a very good football team."

Notre Dame quarterback Tom Drabik started the scoring on the game's first play from scrimmage, bursting around the corner for a 60-yard touchdown run.

The Redwings eventually rushed for 105 yards and Boyle threw for 124.

"The biggest thing is just refocusing our efforts on Marian Central Catholic," New said. "I challenged our team. How do we respond to a loss? That really reveals how you are as a football team."

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