Porter Ontko and the Benet offense showed no signs of slowing down Saturday against South Elgin.
Behind four touchdowns from the 6-foot, 180-pound junior, the Redwings managed to double their win total from last season with a 35-21 nonconference road victory against the Storm.
Ontko scored on his only two touches in Benet’s 62-0 win against Washington in Week 1. Against South Elgin he racked up 78 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 10 carries and also scored on a 60-yard screen pass from Jack Beneventi.
Through two games the Redwings (2-0) have already scored 97 points, which marks a vast improvement from last year when they totaled only 43 points all season while finishing 1-8.
“The offense had a lot of prove this season after last season,” Ontko said. “We’ve really stepped it up, our line especially.”
Ontko’s big day overshadowed a productive afternoon for Storm receiver Joe Crivolio, who caught 15 passes for 168 yards and three touchdowns. The pass-heavy approach became necessary for South Elgin (1-1) when running back Jeff Broger left for good in the first quarter with a hamstring injury he sustained while playing defense.
Benet’s first possession ended with a 26-yard touchdown run from Ontko, who added a 25-yard scoring dash with 8:22 left in the second quarter to put the Redwings ahead 13-0. The Storm answered with an 11-play, 80-yard drive capped by a 6-yard touchdown pass from Rob Cuba to Crivolio that made the score 13-6 going into halftime, but South Elgin couldn’t come any closer.
A 2-yard touchdown plunge from Ontko with 7:51 left in the third quarter put Benet ahead 20-7. Later in the quarter the Redwings capitalized on one of four South Elgin turnovers when Jake Toner intercepted a pass at the Storm 6-yard line to set up a 1-yard touchdown run for Jack Crain that gave the Redwings a commanding 27-7 lead.
“A lot of people wrote us off for beating a Chicago Public School,” Benet coach Patrick New said. “This (South Elgin) team is a darn good team that beat Downers Grove South and we really wanted to beat them. So we set that goal and had a great week of practice.”
Nick McTarnaghan led the Redwings with 87 rushing yards on 18 carries. On defense Benet got an interception and fumble recovery from Colin Geier and an interception from Tim Veselik.
Cuda completed 27 of 49 passes for 257 yards for South Elgin.
“They’re a good team and we definitely underestimated them,” Crivolio said of Benet. “I was able to find some open holes, but I was gang tackled right away and couldn’t do a lot with moving the ball up field.”