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St. Patrick keeps Benet from goals
By Dave Oberhelman | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 9/8/2012 9:35 PM

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Shining like a beacon for Benet’s football team was a 3-0 start last achieved by the Redwings’ 1986 squad.

Coach Pat New felt stronger about going 1-0 in Week 3.

St. Patrick foiled both goals, winning 17-16 at Chicago’s Hanson Stadium. Benet kicker John Duvic’s attempt at a game-winning, 50-yard field goal with five seconds left fell just short.

“Especially with the (East Suburban Catholic Conference), we wanted to get out with a win for our first game in the ESCC and we failed to do that. But we’ll have our opportunities coming up here,” New said.

“It always hurts,” receiver Jack Euritt said. “We definitely played our hardest.”

St. Patrick (2-1, 2-0) made three huge defensive plays to turn the game.

Coming out of halftime leading 10-7, Benet (2-1, 0-1) drove to St. Pat’s 11-yard line. Shamrocks safety Nick Sandowski blitzed and blindsided Benet quarterback Jack Beneventi, causing a fumble recovered by defensive lineman Brian Dillon. That led to Juan Gonzalez’s 31-yard field goal, against the wind, to tie the score 10-10.

Next up, Beneventi hit Euritt on a 19-yard pass and found Porter Ontko on a 51-yard fly to the St. Patrick 10-yard line. Three plays later the 6-foot, 190-pound Sandowski again smashed the sophomore quarterback. The ball squirted out, right into the hands of St. Pat’s Joe Bailey for an 82-yard interception return and a 17-10 Shamrocks lead with 49 seconds left in the third quarter.

Watching Beneventi complete 10 of 16 first-half passes for 109 yards — he finished 24 of 40 for 338, 123 yards to Euritt — St. Patrick coach Dan Galante felt something had to give.

“The quarterback was just eating us up when we were giving him time, so we really made a decision that we were going to take some chances and send some people,” Galante said.

Once more Benet drove downfield. Euritt’s 29-yard catch set up Beneventi’s 16-yard touchdown pass, a dump-off to fullback Nick McTarnaghan. The Redwings looked to tie, but St. Patrick’s 6-2, 225-pound Tahj Davis blocked the extra-point try to leave the score 17-16 with 11:18 left.

“We put him in there to do it,” Galante said.

Benet’s last drive, with 2:12 left, went 51 yards for a shot at victory. It didn’t happen. The Redwings, 27-9 losers to St. Patrick in last year’s 1-8 campaign, will move on.

“We have a rule on our team,” Beneventi said. “After 24 hours no matter if it’s a huge win or if it’s a big loss we forget about it. It’s on to the next week. So that’s what we’ll be looking forward to.”