By Luke Stanczyk
Published: Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Last season, the Benedictine football team won conference with a 7-0 record.
In 2011, they are picking up right where they left off in Northern Athletics Conference play, as they came from behind on Homecoming to beat the Aurora Spartans 26-19. The victory moves the Eagles to 2-0 in NAC play.
Senior wide receiver Brandin Austin led the comeback down the stretch. After trailing 19-3 in the middle of the third quarter, Austin tied the game for the Eagles at 19 early in the fourth quarter with and 84 yard touchdown grab down the left sideline after quarterback Matt Brown was forced to roll out of the pocket.
On Benedictine’s next drive, they marched downfield and Austin capped off the drive with a 32 yard catch from Brown on a fourth-and-15 to go up 26-19.
The comeback began on BenU’s first play in the second half. Trailing 16-0, junior running back John Borsellino scored on a 61 yard touchdown run. After a failed two point conversion and an Aurora field goal, Borsellino struck again, this time returning a kickoff 84 yards for a score.
“We got the momentum back in the third quarter from Johnny’s big kickoff return,” said Brown. “We were just trying to make some plays and keep drives going.”
Once again, Borsellino led the team in rushing yards with 98, added to his team lead in touchdowns by adding two more, and recorded 184 all-purpose yards in the win.
“Whenever you have a guy like that that can bust one for a big gain at any time in the game, it gives you confidence that you can come back at any time, ” Brown added. “Our O-line keeps doing a good job opening up holes for him [Johnny].”
Aurora took the early 7-0 lead with a one yard touchdown run from senior quarterback Jimmy Bevell on the first drive of the game.
After a Spartans field goal and after Bevell suffered an injury, junior quarterback Noah Martin hit senior wide reciever Evan Hackbarth on a 48 yard touchdown to go up 16-0 in the second quarter.
For the Eagles, Brown passed for 183 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also rushed for 30 yards.
At the receiver position, Austin caught five passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns, while junior wide receiver Chris Schultz caught five passes for 28 yards.
On defense, the Eagles had six players with double-digit tackle numbers. Junior Trent Alteri recorded 13 tackles, juniors Mike Theriault and Ben Lockton added 11, while freshman Ben Carpenter and juniors Eric Rickert and Chris Buonavolanto each had 10.
It was BenU’s twelfth consecutive conference win dating back to 2009 and third straight win against rival Aurora. They moved to 3-2 overall with the victory.
“We whole program, we just keep getting better,” Brown explained. “Guys always get up for the conference games, and our coaching staff does a good job of getting everyone mentally prepared.”
The Eagles hit the road for the next two Saturdays, as they travel to Concordia-Wisconsin next Saturday and to Maranantha on the 22nd. Next Saturday’s matchup against the Falcons will be for first place in conference, as both teams are currently 2-0.
“It’s going to be a huge game, going on the road at a conference opponent,” Brown said. “Conference road games are always the toughest, and we just have to keep our momentum going from the last two weeks.”