The Benedictine defense went into Saturday’s contest allowing just 29 points total in its first four games. Watterson put up 28 in the first half. Benedictine’s junior workhorse, Urbania, had averaged over 135 yards a game this season. The Eagle defense limited him to just 37 in the first half, and 101 for the game, most coming after the contest was already decided in the fourth quarter.
Benedictine coach Art Bortnick said they couldn’t get Urbania the carries he needed.
“When your behind, you don’t get the opportunities as much to do what you want because you need to throw more,” Bortnick said. “But they were tough on him even when he did get the opportunities.”
In a game that looked in the beginning that it would be going back and forth all night, the Eagles quickly were able to slant the game in there favor, using the arm of quarterback Mason Takacs. Takacs, who is being looked at by several MAC colleges, was 7-for-12 passing for 161 yards and 3 touchdowns. Takacs was quick to pass on the credit for his performance.
“Our line did a great job, I didn’t get touched all night,” Takacs said. “And all my receivers played great, I just put it up there and let them fight for it. It’s all about the line and the receivers.”
Takacs also credited the coaching staff for coming up with the game plan to let him succeed. “(Coach Dan Bjelac) must have saw weaknesses in there DB’s and thought we could exploit it.”
Bjelac felt utilizing the passing game would be to his team’s advantage.
“We thought we needed to get better throwing the ball, but I felt they knew us to be traditionally a strong running team,” Bjelac said. “We thought they would expect us to run and that would be something we could take advantage of to go with the pass.”
Benedictine took the first lead of the ball game in the first quarter taking advantage of a good punt return by Romel Dismuke that gave the Bengals the ball on Watterson’s 48 yard line. Quarterback John Hromulak connected with Marty Sweeney on a 43 yard pass play that put the Bengals on the 1 yard line. Three plays later Hromulak finished the drive with a 1 yard rush.
Watterson then came back with an answer, going on a nine play, 71 yard drive that ended with Jordan Gelhaus scoring from 4 yards out.
Bortnick was disappointed his team couldn’t hold the momentum.
“We scored first, figured we’d build some momentum, but that quality football team answered right back and the momentum swung,” Bortnick said. “Then field position began to get poor. We began to make mistakes, and the game got not very manageable.
One critical mistake came with Watterson already up 14-7. Dismuke couldn’t handle a Watterson punt and Gelhaus recovered it for Watterson, putting the Eagles on the Benedictine 25. The next play, Takacs found his tight end Colin Boone in the right corner of the end zone to stretch out the lead.
After the Bengals’ next drive stalled, a short punt set up Watterson on Benedictine’s 46. It took Takacs five plays to strike again, as Kevin Obyc fought through double coverage to come down with a 35 yard touchdown pass, giving Bishop Watterson a 28-7 lead it took into half time.
In the second half, both defenses stood tough. Watterson was only able to add another field goal to their total; Benedictine was able to get one more touchdown late in the fourth quarter from Urbania.
The schedules don’t let up for either team. Next week Benedictine will try to rebound as they host a resurgent Lakewood St. Edward team, and Watterson will put their undefeated record on the line against the 35-game winning streak of the Steubenville Big Red.
Takacs hopes the momentum from this win will carry on to next week. “We beat a great team and hopefully got some great momentum, and we’ll need it.”