McCarthy, Nazareth rout Benet
J.J. McCarthy felt pressure on almost every pass play.
He just didn't let it get to him.
The sophomore quarterback -- yes, sophomore -- threw for 416 yards and 5 touchdowns while leading Nazareth to Friday's 45-7 East Suburban Catholic Conference victory over Benet at Lisle's Benedictine University.
McCarthy, who also ran for his team's first touchdown, had 359 passing yards and 4 touchdowns by halftime. With a fourth scoring pass to Michael Love on the opening drive of the third quarter, McCarthy and the unbeaten Roadrunners (5-0, 3-0) put a running clock into effect and sent the starters to the bench for the rest of the game.
It was a stunning display of offense against a usually stout Redwings defense. The unit sacked McCarthy three times, although the hardest hit came when Jacob Snell took McCarthy down as he released a second-quarter pass...for a 75-yard touchdown to Love.
"You've got to stick in there," said McCarthy, who already holds scholarship offers from Cincinnati, Indiana, Iowa State and South Carolina. "Our linemen are doing all the work and that guy coming is on me. I'm going to take that shot and deliver the ball to my receivers and let them make plays."
Benet (3-2, 1-2) held Nazareth on its first possession, but the Roadrunners scored the next seven times they had the ball. That included a 27-yard field goal by Andrew Hughes and the 75-yard McCarthy-to-Love touchdown that was set up by a Diamond Evans interception.
While Love snared 6 catches for 195 yards, Evans had 6 catches for 120 yards.
"That quarterback, I don't know him personally, but he's a (heck) of a player," said Benet linebacker Mike Wymer. "With him and that set of receivers, it's just really hard to stop."
Benet scored in the fourth quarter on an 11-yard scoring run by Ben Hickey. The Redwings managed only 5 first downs and 75 yards of offense in the first half.
After back-to-back losses to Notre Dame and Nazareth, Benet will try to get back in the win column next week at Joliet Catholic.
"They're a tremendously talented team and I don't think we showed quit," said Benet coach Pat New. "We'll put it in the rearview mirror and focus on winning our next game."
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