Benet's QB duo is double trouble

  • Benet Academy's Colin Gillespie runs for a touchdown against Naperville North as Cole Loebig stretches to try to stop him in a football game in Naperville Friday, August 30, 2019.

      Benet Academy's Colin Gillespie runs for a touchdown against Naperville North as Cole Loebig stretches to try to stop him in a football game in Naperville Friday, August 30, 2019. John Starks | Staff Photographer

Updated 9/18/2019 11:44 AM

There's a football theory that if you're playing two quarterbacks, you actually have none.

That's not the case with Benet.


The Redwings have become a true dual threat behind center with the leadership of third-year starter Colin Gillespie and the emergence of senior backup Michael O'Connor.

O'Connor's development has been so effective it's allowed Benet to utilize Gillespie -- the team's best athlete -- all over the field on offense. Gillespie still spends the bulk of his time at quarterback, but he also had a touchdown catch from O'Connor in last week's 35-6 win over St. Ignatius.

"I asked (Gillespie) if he minds playing receiver, and he's fine with it," said Benet coach Pat New. "O'Connor is a really good quarterback and Colin is a great athlete so I thought it'd be a good change of pace for us on offense."

Last week Gillespie accounted for 80 rushing yards, 160 passing and 25 receiving yards. O'Connor threw for 35 yards and rushed for 25.

Tough trip:

From the moment Naperville North stepped off the bus in Massillon, Ohio, it became obvious.

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Dead legs.

The Huskies just couldn't get the blood flowing in a 35-13 loss at Perry. Between the long bus ride and the pounding of Perry's Wing T -- a tough offense to prep for in one week -- nothing clicked last week.

"You're just tired," said Huskies coach Sean Drendel. "That kind of traveling just tires you out. We had it planned out real well, but I just felt like we looked tired all night."

Naperville North left school at 5 a.m., played 13 hours later and hopped back on the bus to reach home in the middle of the night.

Not exactly ideal, but the Huskies shook it off to prepare for Friday's DuPage Valley Conference game against Waubonsie Valley.

"We'd love to start the DVC with a win," Drendel said.

Too close:

From the first quarter through the fourth, Downers Grove North could point to a bunch of plays that cost the Trojans in last week's 28-26 West Suburban Silver loss to York.


"We had every opportunity to win that game and we didn't take advantage," said Trojans coach Joe Horeni. "There were a lot of factors and a lot of little things adding up."

Two fourth-quarter plays, however, stood above the rest.

The first was an attempt at a game-tying 2-point conversion that was thwarted by Dukes linebacker Antonio Carillo. The second was a blocked field goal by Jeff Grace that would have given the Trojans a 29-28 lead with a half minute to play.

It was a tough end to a tough loss, but Downers North immediately went back to work.

"Even Saturday the kids had a good attitude," Horeni said. "They showed a lot of heart to stick with it. We just have to get back to fixing some of the mistakes we made."

Back on that horse:

Being on the wrong end of a 49-14 football game is no fun, but it's got its positive aspects.

"Sometimes you need that kind of game as a coach to show where your weaknesses are so you can work on those things," said Glenbard South coach Ryan Crissey.

Bartlett "exposed some of our flaws," Crissey said. That's somewhat to be expected. Quarterback Nick Plaso, safety Easton Lange and cornerback Tajuan McKinnie are the Raiders' sole senior starters.

Bartlett's defensive front is a bear, yet Raiders junior center John Golden stood out. The 6-foot-3, 238-pound Golden graded out highly and recorded 3 pancake blocks.

Something to build on.

"You get 24 hours to grieve and then you look forward," Crissey said. "You look at the game film and say, this is where we were bad, we need to fix it; this is what we did well, we need to strengthen it," Crissey said. "Every game gives you a recipe of what you need to do for the next game."

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Twitter: @kevin_schmit

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