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Redwings Defeat Spartans in Homecoming Blowout

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Homecoming week is typically one of the most exciting weeks of the school year at Benet Academy, and this year was no exception. Whether it be the music playing in between classes, all of the fun festivities or the actual dance itself, there’s always something for students to enjoy. One event that always proves to be a favorite is the Homecoming football game. In addition to watching our beloved Redwings battle it out with their opponents on the gridiron, we celebrate Benet students old and new. The rambunctious student body comes together with our distinguished alumni to celebrate one thing: school pride.

The Redwings varsity football team made sure that the fans went home happy, as they demolished the Marian Catholic Spartans in a 49-13 rout. The Spartans, who were 0-5 heading into this matchup, proved to have no answer for the Redwings’ dynamic offense.

Besides the pressure of coming out of Homecoming week with a victory, the main storyline of the game was how quarterback Colin Gillespie would do in his first full game as Benet’s starter. With senior Matt Boyle likely out for the season with a broken thumb, the sophomore – who started for the sophomore team last year as a freshman – was thrown into action on short notice. Considering that he will be the reputed starter for the Redwings for another two years, this season will be used as a developmental season to get him accustomed to starting on a varsity level.

If there were any doubters heading into this game, Gillespie proved them wrong. He completed 10 of his 17 passes for 132 yards through the air. He displayed the pocket presence of a seasoned veteran, and the ability to read defenses. Although the signal-caller didn’t throw for any touchdowns, he did pick one up on the ground on a six-yard run.

Whenever a team has an inexperienced quarterback, it is crucial that they get an efficient running game going. It relieves a lot of pressure on the quarterback, and it keeps defenses guessing, especially on play-action calls. Luckily for Gillespie, Benet was able to run all over Marian Catholic’s defense. Senior Ben Cooney, who had 71 rushing yards on just six carries, picked up two touchdowns on the ground. Fellow senior Connor Reid also picked up two rushing touchdowns, despite not having played running back since grade school. Junior Ben Hickey added to that total with a touchdown of his own. By the time halftime came around, the Redwings had scored 35 points on a Spartan defense which had allowed 47.4 points per game heading into the matchup.

In all, Benet ran the ball with 13 different players. Near the end of the fourth quarter, senior – and Homecoming King – Brian Carmicheal II picked up most of the touches. Junior Brendan Tarpey broke loose on a jet sweep for a 73-yard touchdown late in the game.

Part of the reason for the Redwings’ offensive success was their defense’s ability to keep Marian Catholic’s offense off the field. Much like Benet, the Spartans ran a run-heavy offense. Although their double-wing scheme’s focus on power proved to be effective in the first quarter, the Redwings were eventually able to nullify that power with speed. Junior Mike Wymer finished the game with a sack, and a blocked punt, his second of the year. The aforementioned Reid contributed on defense as well, snatching an interception in the third quarter. As a team, the Redwings caused five turnovers. Besides a miraculous jump-ball pass from Spartans quarterback Mateo Cedano to star wide receiver Victor Akinyemi which led to a 69-yard touchdown pass, Benet was able to neutralize Marian Catholic’s passing attack for most of the game.

An overall dominant performance on both sides of the ball left Benet fans going home happy on Homecoming weekend. The Redwings now stand at 4-2 on the season and 3-1 in conference play. Their win this week was crucial to keeping their playoff hopes alive. With three more games left in the season – and only one more at home – it is important for the student body to cheer them on. Their next game is on October 6, when they will be taking on the 2-4 Joliet Catholic Hilltoppers on the road. The Redwings will return to Benedictine Stadium on October 13 for a showdown against the dominant Marist Redhawks.

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Redwings Defeat Spartans in Homecoming Blowout