Check out my condensed game recap for The Daily Herald.
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After opening the season 0-1, coach Pat New and his Benet Redwings have reeled off 5 straight wins and stand tied atop the East Suburban Catholic Conference after soundly defeating Marian Catholic 56-7 in this matchup. While the wet field conditions slowed the play of some, Senior RB Marty Dosen had none of it for the Redwings finishing with 18 carries for 168 yards and 3 rushing touchdowns. Standing 5’9″ 180 lbs, Dosen isn’t your typical power back, but begged to differ this game bulldozing Marian defenders on numerous occasions this game. He also showed his agility on what should have been a big loss, but managed to slip out of and turn it into a touchdown. I caught up with Dosen after the game to get his thoughts on how it went.
“Every game in this conference is going to be a battle so we came in here ready to play. We had our offense clicking, our defense did their thing and it was just good to come in here and get a victory.”
While only playing the first half, senior QB Jack Sznadjer had himself a day completing 8 of 13 passes for 122 yards, 3 touchdowns (2 passing, 1 rushing) and an interception. Sznadjer showed a lot of poise in the pocket and looked every bit the 3 year varsity starter that he is. Credit Thomas Walsh and the rest of the offensive line as it seemed like Sznadjer had an eternity to throw this game. Sznadjer’s favorite target this game was junior receiver Nick Keyes. While the Redwings didn’t pass much in the second half, Keyes day ended with a line of 4 catches for 90 yards and 2 touchdowns. At 5’8″ 150, Keyes is a very slippery receiver with good hands that is tough to bring down in space. Junior receiver Jack Eschenbach also had a few catches for Benet while QB Matt Boyle and RB Sean Thiesen also contributed some carries.
Senior and D1 offeree Alec McEachern looked very good early on for the Benet defense making plays all over the field. He didn’t have a bad game after a great start, rather the Redwings chose to pump the brakes a bit on defense after getting out to a huge lead. Linebackers Ryan Liszka and Devin Petersen also had nice games on defense. This defense played very well as a cohesive unit pressuring Marian QB Thomas regularly. This team put up 56 points in this game, but is dangerous on both sides of the ball. I spoke with coach Pat New after the game to see how he thought the game went.
“I was happy that our offense clicked tonight; we’ve been improving every week. Moving forward, our goal is to win an ESCC championship. We’re still in the hunt for that and are really focused on that right now.”
Benet plays Joliet Catholic next week then will head to Marist on October 14th in a game that could decide the East Suburban Catholic League Champion. Keep an eye on the Redwings the rest of the season.
It was tough sledding for coach Sean Mele and the Spartans of Marian in this one. Senior QB and Illini commit Cam Thomas didn’t have his best game in the wet field conditions completing only 3 of his 19 passes for 105 yards and a TD. The wet ball gave Thomas issues in this one with him overthrowing his receivers on a few occasions. However, it was the drops and miscommunication on routes on the receivers end as well as a relentless Benet pass rush that doomed Thomas for a 3 completion day. While he struggled through the air a bit, Thomas looked very athletic dodging Benet tackles with regularity picking up 5-6 yard chucks instead of being dropped for a 7-8 yard losses. The lone big play for the Spartans came when Thomas hooked up with senior receiver Joe Stith on a slant route where Stith simply outran the defenders in a footrace to the endzone for an 87 yard pitch and catch TD. Junior Victor Akinyemi was Thomas’ main target this game, but came away with only 1 reception for 5 yards this game. Jordan Rogers also contributed in the receiving game for the Spartans. Senior RB Christian Simmons had a tough time in the wet conditions gaining only 30 yards on 15 carriers. At times, Simmons tried to make a play out of nothing and was dropped for a big loss. He’ll have to work on this in the future, but I would chalk this up to the stout Benet defense as well. Rogers, Eddie Ell, Warren Allen and Sean Mascolino also contributed on the ground for the Spartans.
The Marian defense played well early on holding the Benet offense to only 7 points in the first quarter. The second quarter was a different story as the Redwings put up 28 points in that period alone. Other than a Will Crowder interception, the Marian defense did not fare much better than the offense in this one. Max Kinast, AJ Anderson and the rest of the Marian defense simply could not contain Dosen on the ground for Benet. The Spartan defense only forced two punts from the Benet offense. I spoke with coach Mele after the game and seemed to agree with my thoughts.
“I thought we started off pretty well getting a couple first downs and moving the ball a little bit. We couldn’t convert on third and one, then they blocked the punt and it was all downhill from there. I credit Benet for doing a great job, but we just have to work and continue to get better.”