Benet rolls past St. Viator
Having completed a five-game stretch against elite competition, the Benet football team came into Friday in need of a little breather.
And thanks to a complete effort on both sides of the ball, the Redwings got just that.
Receiving three touchdowns from senior running back Bennett Hickey, Benet cruised to a 42-14 victory over St. Viator in the East Suburban Catholic Conference matchup at Benedictine University.
Hickey finished the contest with 109 rushing yards on 24 carries and brought on the running clock with four minutes left in the third quarter on a 3-yard run. He also opened the scoring with a 1-yard TD just over three minutes into the Homecoming game.
"It was good," Hickey said. "We've battled back. We had two tough losses (to Notre Dame and Nazareth) but had a good game against Joliet Catholic and then this was a good win for us.
"Our offense is really coming together. We got the run game going and we threw the ball all over the place. And I think we will keep getting better as the season goes on."
The Redwings (5-2, 3-2) increased their early lead to 14-0 when quarterback Colin Gillespie found Luke Flaska for a 13-yard score midway through the first quarter.
Gillespie finished 19 of 27 through the air for 202 yards. Flaska caught six balls for 60 yards, and Luke Sznajder hauled in eight passes for 80 yards.
Michael Wymer also found the end zone on a 49-yard run.
"It was nice to have a game where we executed on both sides of the ball," Benet coach Pat New said. "And I was really pleased with how Colin played. It was nice to get a more comfortable win tonight.
"We've now got five wins and that makes us playoff eligible, which is exciting."
The Benet defense was dominant in the first half, allowing just 53 yards of total offense. Billy Lawler had a pair of interceptions and John Benish tacked on a pair of sacks. The home team held a shutout until St. Viator (0-7, 0-5) scored a pair of touchdowns over the final nine minutes.
"In the Joliet Catholic game we were down a lot of players," Lawler said. "Guys were playing both ways and giving it their all and we squeezed out a win. I think within that game, we found our identity and started playing as a unit.
"We came in and had good practices this week and it clearly paid off. St. Viator, maybe this isn't their best year, but they are still a good team. Tonight it wasn't just the defensive backs or the linebackers or the defensive line, it was the whole defense."