Second Quarter Surge Propels Benedictine Past Warriors
Wauwatosa, Wisconsin – Benedictine University scored 21 points in the second quarter to lead the Eagles to a 34-24 victory over Wisconsin Lutheran College. Bryce Barbian threw for 249 yards and three touchdowns. Kyle Kubacki had a huge day on defense, recording 13 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble.
Benedictine took the opening kickoff and went 62 yards in 11 plays before taking a 3-0 lead. The ground attack led the way, as the Eagles ran the ball on seven of the first 10 plays. Liam McCarty hit a 22-yard field goal to finish off the drive.
The Warriors responded right away, moving 75 yards in eight plays before Barbian found Trevion Green over the middle for a 1-yard touchdown. The Warriors quarterback completed all four pass attempts on the drive, and had a 20 yard run for a first down on third and seven. That drive took 8:04 off the clock, helping Wisconsin Lutheran to hold a four-point advantage at the end of the first quarter.
Benedictine lookef to retake the lead on their next possession, as Blake Shoddie burst up the middle, racing 27 yards to the 1-yard line where it looked like he would score. However, Brandon Antczak was able to knock the ball loose, forcing it through the end zone for a touchback.
Back the other way the Warriors went. A Barbian pass to Landon Neeley went to the Benedictine 44-yard line, but Johnny Camillo forced a fumble, giving his team the ball. On the next play, Evan Wydajewski found Nick Shelton down the middle of the field for 41 yards. Dylan Sigel then took the ball on the next play, moving to his right before racing toward the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown.
WLC was forced to punt on their next possession, and the Eagles found the end zone once again. Sigel finished off the drive once again, this time scoring from 16 yards out to make it 17-7.
The Eagles defense forced another punt on the next possession for Wisconsin Lutheran, and this time Benedictine put together an impressive 12 play, 75-yard drive that resulted in the third touchdown of the quarter for the Eagles. Wydajewski found Shelton down the middle for a 20-yard touchdown on third and 11, making it 24-7 heading into the half.
Neither team was having much success to begin the second half, but the Warriors were finally able to get on the board on a 6-yard touchdown from Barbian to Neeley. The Warriors quarterback completed three of his four pass attempts on the drive, recording 32 total yards.
Benedictine responded immediately, moving 69 yards in eight plays give the team a 17-point advantage. It was a huge play by the Benedictine quarterback that completed the drive, as he found Shelton down the middle for a 38-yard touchdown on third and 16.
The Warriors refused to go away, mounting an impressive nine play, 69-yard drive that resulted in a 23 yard field goal by Arnulfo Ortega.
The Eagles made it a 34-17 lead with 2:41 left when McCarty hit a 27-yard field goal attempt.
The Warriors needed three scores and were able to put together a quick drive that took just 25 seconds before the team found the end zone. Barbian found Emmitt Hawkins for a 36-yard completion, then connected with Jamil Gordon for 22 more yards and a score.
WLC was back within 10, but Benedictine was able to run out the final 2:16 to seal the victory.
Barbian completed 21 of 33 passes for 249 yards and three scores. Hawkins had two receptions for 75 yards and Gordon had six catches for 72 yards and a score.
Wisconsin Lutheran College (3-6, 3-4) will close out the season next Saturday when they welcome Concordia-Chicago (1-7, 1-5). Opening kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.
by Robert Pannier