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Redwings Lose a Tough One to the Dons

September 18, 2010
By Site Administrator of Benet Academy Football

Notre Dame 35, Benet 31


September 17, 2010 

Notre Dame overcame an 11-point, early-fourth quarter deficit to defeat Benet 35-31 on Friday on a memorable Homecoming night Niles.

The Dons (3-1, 1-1) trailed 25-14, but showed signs of life when senior receiver Jack McAndrew made an acrobatic 32-yard touchdown catch with 7:27 left in the contest.

Notre Dame then took the lead for good when senior Nick Bascom blocked a punt and senior Conner Gavin scooped up the ball and ran it 15-yards into the end zone, giving the home team a 28-25 advantage with 3:44 remaining.

ND added to its lead when senior quarterback Tim Whalen (3 touchdown passes) connected with senior Connor Thomas for a 21-yard touchdown with 1:34 remaining.

"We had the best week of practice we've ever had. I don't know if it was just because the (Homecoming) dance, but the guys worked hard. We talked about belief a lot. That's what we did. We believed, and we won," Thomas said.

Benet (2-2, 0-2) added a touchdown with 8.7 seconds remaining when EJ Howe caught a three-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback TJ Rickert, who had taken over after starter Nick Mankowski injured his foot two drives earlier.

But for a second straight week, the Redwings felt they let a winnable game get away. Last week, they gained twice as many yards as Marian, but fell 14-13.

"It sure is frustrating. I don't think it could be any more frustrating than right now," Benet head coach Patrick New said. "Those are two games we could have won. We could be 4-0 right now. It hurts."

Notre Dame led 7-0 at halftime on Friday. But a bad snap on the Dons' first play from scrimmage in the third quarter resulted in a fumble, and soon a Benet touchdown.

The home team increased its lead to 14-6 on a 33-yard run by senior Jeremy Burgos.

But Benet got right back into the game on senior Pat Boyle's 25-yard touchdown run.

Then, Benet star receiver Connor Nelligan started to take over the game. The senior dove to catch a 29-yard touchdown pass from Mankowski, giving his team an 18-14 lead.

On the Redwings' next possession, Nelligan caught a short pass from his quarterback and exploded for a 56-yard score in the first minute of the fourth quarter.

Benet, leading 25-14, appeared in command. But Notre Dame thought otherwise.

The Dons return to action at 7:30 p.m. Next Friday at Marian Catholic. Benet hosts Glenbard South in a non-conference game at 7:30 p.m. next Friday.

Tags Benet Academy Football • Publisher
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