Breaking It Down: The biggest challenge for Benet in its second-round matchup early on was holding onto the football. The Redwings committed four turnovers in the first half and nearly committed two or three more. Both teams combined for eight turnovers in the contest.
Running back Porter Ontko put the Redwings in front early after a 65-yard run, but quarterback Jack Beneventi committed the first of three fumbles after the Redwings got away with a double turnover situation earlier in the possession. The Panthers took advantage and quarterback Brett Wainwright connected with Jack Kwiatkowski to tie the game at 7. Panthers back Mickeel Stewart scored on a 14-yard carry in the second to give the Panthers a 13-7 halftime lead.
The Redwings needed a sign in the second half and Ontko delivered. He picked up off a pass intended for Kwiatkowski on the Panthers’ opening possession in the third and took it 50 yards for a touchdown. The Panthers never seemed to recover from the shock and Benet added touchdowns by running back Jack Crain in the third and Ontko’s third touchdown of the night to give the Redwings a decisive 28-13 win over the Panthers.
Patch’s MVP: Porter Ontko, Benet. Ontko’s 50-yard pick-six early in the third quarter gave the Redwings life after a very weak first half. He also scored on carries of 65 and 41 yards, respectively, and finished with 12 carries for 209 yards.
Benet Stat Pack: Running back Nick McTarnaghan had 13 carries for 74 yards. RB/LB Jack Crain had a 4-yard carry for a touchdown in the third and forced a late Oswego fumble in the fourth.
Oswego Stat Pack: Running back Mickeel Stewart had 24 carries for 130 yards. Receiver Jack Kwiatkowski had a 25-yard over-the-shoulder catch in the first quarter. RB/DB Tyler Walsh was especially impressive on defense with several plays that kept the Panthers in the game.
Quotable I: Benet coach Patrick New: “What’s really nice about this team is that when you have so many offensive weapons you don’t have to worry about your opponent just focusing on one. You can really spread it out.”
Quotable II: Oswego coach Brian Cooney: “I know this is the playoffs and that there is no tomorrow, but I know that this team, the way they’ve grown all year, they would have bounced back from this.”
Team Records: Oswego finishes at 9-2 overall. Benet improves to 10-1 overall.
What’s Next: Oswego’s season is over. Benet will go on the road and play Downers Grove North next week in the quarterfinals.
Scores of Interest: Downers North defeated Thornton 29-13. For more scores, go to ihsa scorezeone.