Time of Poss.
LISLE, Ill. - The Benedictine University football team opened play in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference with a 30-13 victory over Wisconsin Lutheran College.
"That was a great win against a good team," head coach Jon Cooper said. "The kids rose to the occasion for a big win against a good team that came in with a do-or-die situation and we answered the bell."
After scoring the first 10 points of the contest, Benedictine fell behind 13-10 before scoring the final 20 points of the contest. Benedictine opened the game by marching 70 yards on 11 plays to begin the scoring. Omar Lopez finished the 6:21 drive with an 18-yard touchdown grab from quarterback Ryan Sample. Following an exchange of turnovers, Jose Santiago kicked a 22-yard field goal to extend the lead.
Wisconsin Lutheran scored on consecutive possessions to take the lead. A short punt handed Benedictine good field position to set up the go-ahead score. Sample and Lopez connected on a 26-yard score to cap a quick four-play drive, handing Benedictine a 17-13 edge. The teams played virtually even in the first half.
The Benedictine defense held after a lengthy Wisconsin Lutheran drive and then proceeded to move 87 yards down the field to extend the advantage. Sample connected with Elijah Walker on a 15-yard score with just 15 seconds left in the third to make the score 24-13. The final touchdown of the game came with just over four minutes left on a fourth-down conversion as Sample hit Jesse Kilbourn from 25 yards out.
Benedictine finished with 411 yards and held the ball for 35:21. All four touchdowns came through the air as Sample finished with 273 yards, completing 19-of-33. The passes were evenly distributed with six individuals making catches. Jake Valas caught five passes while Lopez reeled in four for 70 yard with two scores. The defense forced four turnovers. Jarrett Lecas led the defense with 12 tackles. Maison Bittner, Andrew Soulis, and Micayel McKechnie each added nine. Alex Bretous recovered two fumbles in the win.
"We are getting better every week," Cooper remarked. "We played good, solid, defense in a hard fought and physical game by both teams. Lots of players really performed well this afternoon. We've got a lot of guys working really hard to get better every day."
Benedictine (3-2, 1-0) hosts Concordia Wisconsin next Saturday at 1:00 p.m. in the homecoming game.