Benet junior quarterback Jack Beneventi earns most of the headlines
and deservedly so. The 6-foot-6 strong-armed signal caller is being
recruited by dozens of Division I college programs and has a visit to
Notre Dame set up for Saturday.
On Friday night, however, it was kicker John Duvic who stole the spotlight.
Duvic converted field goals of 34, 37, 38, 42 and 50 yards to lead
visiting Benet to a dominant 30-6 win over defending Class 6A state
The loss snapped the Warriors (3-1) 17-game winning streak.
“He’s always been able to kick the ball,” said Beneventi, who, like
Duvic, resides in Glen Elyn. “I’m glad to see him play the way he did
While Duvic’s kicking was a key to the win, the turning point occurred
in the third quarter when Brad Sznajder returned a kick 91 yards for a
score and a 21-6 lead.
Just 12 seconds earlier, Crete-Monee’s Deon Benton blocked a punt
and returned it 17 yards for a touchdown. The score not only cut the
Warriors deficit to 15-6 at 8:29 of the third quarter, it invigorated
a Crete-Monee homecoming crowd that had little to get excited about up
to that point.
But Sznajder ‘s return swung the momentum back
to the Redwings (4-0).
“That was a big play,” Benet coach Pat New said. “They got some life
after that blocked punt and touchdown. Brad returning the kick like
that gave us the momentum back.”
Duvic would provide Benet with some additional breathing room by
converting kicks of 37 and 40 yards later in the third quarter that
made it 27-6. Then with 9:53 remaining in the game, he booted a
50-yarder that had both sides of the bleachers buzzing with
“I try to stay consistent,” Duvic said. “I try to use the same motion
every time. It was an exciting night.”
Not for Crete-Monee, which was held to 78 yards rushing and 72 yards
passing. Other than a pair of lengthy runs by Trevon Smith, covering
38 and 44 yards, there was little for Warrior fans to cheer about.
Benet’s defense, led by Jack Mitchell, Jack Kelly, Nick Surges, Ryan
Parks and Jason Blohm, had a great deal to do with that. Dave
Donnantuono added an interception for the Redwings.
“I thought our defense played extremely well,” New said. “We had a
conservative approach on offense, especially once we got inside their
35. John is a special kicker. The guy’s amazing.”
Beneventi finished 9-for-26 for 124 yards. His 13-yard touchdown pass
to Joe Weidenbach extended the Redwings’ lead to 10-0 at 8:32 of the second quarter.
“Winning this game is really special,” Beneventi said. “Crete’s
defense is the best I’ve seen in my life. To have this type of game
early in the season is critical for us.”