by Clare Lopez-Kaley
The Benedictine University men’s football team dropped their last regular season game to conference rival Wisconsin Lutheran on Saturday 23-21. It was their third loss of the season and their first conference loss in over two years.
BenU started out strong against Wisconsin Lutheran, scoring the first 13 points in the game partly in thanks to freshman defensive back Stefan Herron. Herron’s interception helped the team score on their first drive. Later, senior cornerback Matt McWilliams would pick off another pass.
Turnovers seemed to be the key to the BenU loss, with the first being a blocked extra point attempt that was returned for a two-point conversion. A second turnover put the Warriors in place for a 59 yard touchdown run, putting Wisconsin Lutheran up 17-13.
With no scores in the third quarter, the Eagles needed a few good drives to get back into the game. Junior linebacker Edwin Davila helped the Eagles with a fumble recovery in Wisconsin Lutheran territory. With less than a minute left, Benedictine’s last drive fell short, with an incomplete pass from the Wisconsin Lutheran 23-yard line.
“We are disappointed with the loss, but we have to put it behind us now and focus on next week,” said senior quarterback, Matt Brown. “This loss hurts, but it is something that will definitely fuel us for next week.”
Even with this loss, the Eagles earned a spot in the NCAA Division III Playoffs. On Saturday, November 19th, the Eagles will meet the University of Mount Union in Benedictine’s second NCAA playoffs appearance in the program’s history. In Alliance, Ohio, the Eagles will meet an experienced team that has won 10 national titles and owns the most playoff wins in NCAA history.
Even with this difficult contest ahead of them, the BenU football team is the first school to represent the Northern Athletics Conference in the playoffs two years in a row.