Anybody from St. Patrick who watched Benet kicker John Duvic in pre-game warmups probably wasn’t feeling very confident when he lined up for a game-winning 50-yard field goal with 5 seconds remaining.
Duvic had no trouble from that distance in that pre-game but to the relief of the Shamrock patrons, was just yards short when it counted. The Shamrocks held on for a 17-16 victory Saturday at Hanson stadium to remain undefeated in East Suburban Catholic conference play.
“We saw [Duvic] on film and we knew he would be a weapon,” St. Patrick coach Dan Galante said. “I’m glad we took the wind at our back fourth quarter. [Benet] is playing with a lot of confidence and I knew we were going to have our hands full.
“Our kids made plays when they need to.”
And the Shamrocks (2-1, 2-0) needed to make plays on defense against Redwings sophomore quarterback Jack Beneventi, who carved them up for 344 yards passing, going 24-for-38 with a pair touchdowns and two interceptions.
The most costly interception came in the third quarter with the score tied 10-10. Nick Sandowski blitzed and hit Beneventi midway through his passing motion forcing the ball to dribble out of his hands and into the arms of Joe Bailey. Bailey ran 81 yards for what proved to be the winning points.
“It was a new blitz we just started running and it gave me a clear shot at the quarterback,” Sandowski said.
The Shamrocks opened the game with a 15-play, 80-yard drive that was capped by a one-yard Sandowski run for a 7-0 lead with 4:3 left in the first quarter.
The rest of the half, however, belonged to the Redwings (2-1, 0-1). A 21-yard field goal by Duvic in the opening minute of the second quarter pulled his team within 7-3.
After three consecutive punts by both teams, the Redwings ate up the clock with a 13-play, 80-yard drive that was capped by a 16-yard pass to Jack Euritt (eight catches, 105 yards) from Beneventi with 15 seconds left for a 10-7 halftime lead.
Nick McTarnaghan caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Beneventi with 11:18 left in the fourth. The extra point attempt was blocked by a host of Shamrock defenders.
“[Duvic] didn’t get all of that kick but we knew he had the leg for it,” said Benet coach Pat New, whose team turned the ball over twice in the red zone. “We just have to recover from this.”