Football battles gamely, but falls short in the end, 17-15
October 11, 2008
Dave Beyer, Sports Information Director
Benedictine's University gave Concordia University (Wis.) all it could handle for a half, but fell victim to it's own mistakes, 17-15, in a Northern Athletics Conference (NAC) game. The loss dropped the Eagles to 0-5 overall and 0-2 in the NAC, while the Falcons improved to 2-3 overall and 2-0 in the league.
CUW was the defending conference champion from the now-defunct Illini-Badger Football Conference in 2007.
Benedictine built a 9-0 advantage by halftime, thanks to an opening drive touchdown that seemed to stun the visitors. The Eagles began the drive from their own 30 yard line and scored five plays later, thanks to a 42 yard touchdown gallop by tailback Ryan Schwartz.
Brian Goff added the extra point kick and BU was on top, 7-0, with just 2:46 elapsed in the game.
At 8:59 of the second quarter, Benedictine upped its lead to 9-0 thanks to a safety. The Falcons actually helped set up the safety on their previous defensive series.
Benedictine had the ball on a fourth-and-seven from the CUW 30. BU quarterback Derek Hitt threw deep and the Falcon's Xavier Dyer intercepted the ball at the two - rather than knock it down and gain the field position - and was tackled immediately.
On the first play, David White carried for two yards to create some breathing room. Then, a handoff to halfback Kasiem Duran was read perfectly by Benedictine linebacker Alex Dewey, who drug down Duran in the endzone to make it 9-0 Benedictine.
Late in the third stanza, a fumble by Hitt was recovered by CUW's Travis Pagel near midfield and the Falcons were in business. Concordia drove from the Benedictine 48 yard line down to the Eagles' one, thanks largely to a 20 yard run by Duran and a 14 yard aerial from Nathan chart to Aaron Siekmann to set up David White's one yard plunge that - after the PAT kick - made it 9-7 with 31 seconds left in the third period.
On the second play of Benedictine's ensuing series, another Eagles' turnover paved the way for the Falcons' second TD of the day. BU fullback Eric Ritter took a handoff and lost the handle on the ball at his own 43. CUW's Nick Erickson recovered and, after a 15 yard personal foul penalty against Benedictine was tacked on, tyhe Falcons were on the BU 28.
Two plays netted just five yards of offense before Chart air mailed a strike to Robert May for a 23 yard score that gave CUW the lead, 14-9.
The bad luck stretch continued on BU's very next offensive play as Hitt was again intercepted, this time by Justin Rogers who wove his way down to the Benedictine seven on the return. the Eagles' defense held, but a 20 yard field goal by Dan Winsey was even more important than he knew at the time, making it 17-9.
With 7:24 left in the game and CUW forced to punt, freshman John Borsellino - who is fast becoming Benedictine's version of Devon Hester - took the Falcons' punt and returned it 89 yards for the touchdown that cut the margin to 17-15.
Benedictine elected to go for the two-point conversion and possible tie. Hitt took the snap and rolled to his right. CUW's Pagel pursued Hitt and slapped the ball from his hands to kill the PAT try and preserve the Falcons' win.
CUW rolled up 189 yards rushing. White led the team with 90 for the visitors. Benedictine was paced b7y 69 yards on 13 carries from Schwartz.
Neither team accomplished much through the air, as Concordia managed 88 yards passing. For the Eagles' it was Hitt and miss, as Benedictine's young signal caller completed just three of 16 pass attempts for 31 yards in the air.
Borsellino had another good day for the Eagles overall with 201 all-purpose yards (21 receiving, 70 punt returns and 110 kickoff returns).
Defensively, Dewey led Benedictine - and all defensive players in the game - with 11 tackles (three for losses of 12 yards). Defensive end Eddie Hill added eight tackles in the loss.
CUW's defense was paced by David Weiland and Andrew Hobus, who each booked seven tackles. Pagel had two fumble recoveries to go along with his three tackles, while teammate Adam Schultz had a sack and three quarterback hurries.
Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 10,000 students in 56 undergraduate and 19 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the sixth consecutive year in 2016. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ben.edu.