Redwings fall to Warriors 20-18 in first round of IHSA playoffs

Sean Barrett ‘19, Boys Sports Head Writer

The Benet Academy Redwings football team had a good season, but in the end, they came up short in the state playoffs. The Redwings made the IHSA playoffs for the seventh consecutive year, after finishing the regular season with a 6-3 record that included two losses to top 10 teams in the state of Illinois. Benet went on a pair of three-game winning streaks, with a two-loss streak sandwiched in between. They finished the regular season with a tough loss against the Marist RedHawks.

The Redwings drew the 8-1 Maine West Warriors in the first round of the playoffs, who were looking for their first playoff win in school history. Benet fought back valiantly after trailing by as much as 17-0, but they could not get past the higher-seeded Warriors, falling 20-18. Despite a late touchdown pass from junior quarterback Colin Gillespie to senior wide receiver Luke Flaska, the Redwings failed to convert on their two-point conversion attempt.

Even though the Redwings fell short of reaching the state semifinals for a third consecutive season, the season can still be considered a success, as seven consecutive playoff berths is a very noteworthy feat. Benet will be losing several key contributors on both sides of the ball to graduation, but a talented junior class looks to pick up right where their teammates left off.

The Redwings will need their younger players to step up in a major way next year, as they join the so-called “Super Conference” which combines the East Suburban Catholic Conference and the Chicago Catholic League. This new league will contain several powerhouse programs including Marist, Nazareth, Brother Rice, Mount Carmel, and more. Although it will be a challenge, Benet will look to advance to the playoffs for the eighth consecutive season in 2019.