Benet measures out another win over St. Laurence
As far as measuring sticks go, St. Laurence has been a pretty good one for Benet's football team.
The Redwings won the season-opening matchup for the third time in four years, cruising to Saturday's 27-10 nonconference victory in the second of three games at the Kickoff Classic at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.
Benet scored quickly on its first two possessions and the defense didn't allow a touchdown. Outgaining the Vikings 299-146 in total yardage, it turned into a dominant effort on both sides of the ball.
"It was kind of a rough start, but it was the first week and we're going to have some mistakes," said Redwings junior quarterback Colin Gillespie, who threw for 210 yards and rushed for 2 touchdowns. "We'll try to clean that up for next week. It was definitely a solid start."
Gillespie ran for touchdowns of 6 and 9 yards, both set up by passes to Jack Cooney and key runs by Ben Hickey, who rushed for 75 yards on 19 carries. An interception led to a 42-yard field goal by St. Laurence's Liam McCarthy, but Gillespie answered with a 42-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Eschenbach.
Eschenbach fumbled the ball on his way to the end zone but recovered it in the end zone. Regardless, it gave Benet a 20-3 halftime lead thanks to a Cooney interception at the goal line just before time expired.
"We love the win, but we've still got to keep getting better each week," Cooney said. "We know the (East Suburban Catholic) is a great conference."
Brailyn Johnson sparked the Vikings with a 67-yard interception return for a touchdown early in the third quarter that narrowed the gap to 20-10. Again, though, Benet responded with an 11-play, 80-yard drive capped by Hickey's 5-yard scoring run.
In addition to Cooney's interception, the Redwings' defense recorded 4 sacks including three by Jacob Snell and one by Jack Benish.
"It was great," said Benet coach Pat New. "We needed that. This team scares me because they've got really great coaching and a lot of speed. And they come from a great conference as well. I would have taken a 1-point win, so it was nice to have a little bit of a cushion."
Follow Kevin on Twitter