Benet suffers first loss of season
Loyola handed Benet its first loss of the football season, taking a 46-14 home victory on Saturday in Wilmette.
Loyola quarterback J.T. Thomas did a majority of the scoring for the Ramblers (5-2), finding the end zone through the air and on the ground. He accounted for 4 touchdowns, 3 of which came in the first half.
"Going into the games we are looking to pound the ball," Thomas said. "We've got a strong O-line with great receivers, and the first two possessions we came and pounded the ball and that opens up everything."
Thomas stressed that this balance allowed the Ramblers to maintain a complete offensive attack.
"Once they bring people in the box it's gonna open up us through the air," Thomas said.
"(Thomas) gets a lot of leeway, changing plays and such," said Loyola coach John Holecek. "He's got a grasp of the offense it seems, and he's getting more confident. He processes and reacts rather than thinks about it. Things slow down the more reps you get."
Thomas finished the game 11-of-18 passing for 169 yards and 2 touchdowns, in addition to a 9-yard run and a successful 2-point conversation keeper.
That being said, Ramblers running back Vaughan Pemberton was the one leading the way and setting the tone for his team as he broke loose for a 37-yard scamper on the first play from scrimmage, setting himself up for a 3-yard plunge a few plays later.
Pemberton accomplished that despite missing most of the ballgame in a precautionary move with what was described as a slight injury. He finished the game with 12 carries, 106 yards and two scores.
Benet quarterback Colin Gillespie used his arm and his legs to lead his team on a few long second-half drives, striking the end zone twice on passes to tight end Jacob Snell.
"Their quarterback is (a) good, mobile athlete, throws a really good ball," Holecek said, adding that, "obviously (Snell) is a giant target with good hands."
Gillespie was 15-for-28 passing, accumulating 146 yards and 2 touchdowns while also adding 39 yards on his own.
Holecek went on to say that his team will, "have a lot to review on film defensively in the second half, why we couldn't make those plays that we seemed to be close to making."