Benet routs Nazareth, clinches playoff berth
By Eddie burns For Sun-Times Media October 5, 2012 11:28PM
Benet running back Nick McTarnagh (with ball) is swarmed by Redwings teammates after scoring a touchdown against Nazareth. | Jon Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 6, 2012 12:45AM
Benet could not have picked a better time to put together its most complete game.
The Redwings were simply unstoppable during their 49-0 victory against Nazareth on Friday night at Benedictine University in Lisle.
It was Benet’s second straight shutout and it sets up an East Suburban Catholic showdown with unbeaten conference leader Marist next weekend. It also clinches a postseason berth for the Redwings.
“We are very excited,” said Benet defensive lineman Charles Melka, who had two of the Redwings four sacks while limiting the Roadrunners to 118 yards of total offense. “We know Marist is the top of the hill right now. Whoever knocks off Marist, can win the ESCC. We proved ourselves a little bit today, but we haven’t proven anything.”
Benet sophomore quarterback Jack Beneventi was sharp from the start as he completed his first eight passes. The second play from scrimmage was a 61-yard scoring pass to receiver Jack Toner.
“Everyone was in a great rhythm,” Beneventi said. “The line blocked well, running backs did great, receivers made big plays. I just threw the ball to a spot and they did the rest making great catches and they made all the moves down the field.”
Beneventi completed 13 of 17 passes for 304 yards with four touchdowns. Toner (four catches for 141 yards) also hauled in a 57-yard scoring strike to help Benet to a 28-0 halftime lead. Beneventi also connected with receiver Jack Euritt (five catches for 116 yards) for scoring passes of 10 and 55 yards as the Redwings (6-1, 3-1 ESCC) used quick slant passes to counter Nazareth’s defensive aggressiveness.
“You think you know this business and you get humbled like we did tonight,” said Nazareth coach Tim Racki, whose team fell to 3-4 overall and 1-4 in the league. “When you get beat like this you have to give credit to Benet and their staff, their kids. They came out more prepared and outplayed us across the board. They had our respect. I thought we’d give them more of game and we didn’t.”
Now the stage is set for the Benet football program to host a huge Week 8 showdown.
“I can’t wait for Marist,” Benet coach Pat New said. “That is a premier program — one of the best in the state. I told the guys that if we beat Nazareth, and we’d have something big to play for the final two weeks of the season. We still have a ways to go. The sophomores are 7-0. We’re trying to build winning here, so that kids are used to winning. We just have to believe in ourselves. This helps us take that next step.”