By Tashara Parker
It almost felt as if you were watching a chess match tonight. Benet Academy took on the Hilltoppers of Joliet Catholic in a fight-to-the-finish showdown.
At the beginning, it seemed as if JCA wasnt missing a beat without star running back Ty Isaac. The Hilltoppers started out on top in the first quarter with a 14-0 lead over the Redwings. Mike Ivlow owned both Joliet touchdowns.
The momentum shifted back-and-forth throughout the entire game.
After twelve minutes into the first half, Benets Jack Euritt puts the Redwings on the scoreboard with a touchdown. Benet ended the first half in the hole, 21-14 behind JCA.
They needed to return during the second half with hopes of turning around a game that would prove that they deserved their first East Suburban Catholic Championship in the schools history.
After a tough first half for both teams, we could only predict that the second half would be just as interesting. Both teams needed to make adjustments, but only one would come out with the win.
The Redwings came back during the second half and dominated a tough Hilltopper defense. And although the Benet offense struggled tonight, the Redwings erased the memory of trailing the Hilltoppers for the entire game.
In the 3rd, Benet tied JCA 21-21 with a 40-yard touchdown pass to Jack Euritt from Jack Beneventi.
JCA only had one good drive in the second half and allowed 17 unanswered Redwing points. Benet closed out the game over the Hilltoppers 31-21.
Benet took home their first ever East Suburban Conference Championship and both teams will advance to the IHSA playoffs next weekend.
NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O'Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we'll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.
Head coach: Pat Ryan
Assistant coaches: Mike Thorgesen, Ryan Gierke, John Pavlak, Drew Sterkel, Matt Smith, Zack Martinelli, Ryan Noel, Mike Lotz, Anthony Mastropieri, Trevor McKeown and Alec Aurelio
How they fared in 2017: 7-4 (3-1 Northern Illinois Big 12 East Conference). The Knights made the Class 5A state playoff field. They defeated Lindblom, then lost to Sterling in second round action.
2018 Regular Season Schedule:
Aug. 24 @ Hinsdale South
Aug. 31 vs Geneva
Sept. 7 vs Rich Central
Sept. 14 @ Sterling
Sept. 21 vs DeKalb
Sept. 28 @ Sycamore
Oct. 5 @ Yorkville
Oct. 12 vs Morris
Oct. 19 vs Rochelle
[MORE: 95 Days to Kickoff - Waubonsie Valley]
Biggest storyline: Will the Knights leave their mark in the last season of the Northern Illinois Big 12 East conference?
Names to watch this season: RB Jonathan Alstott and OL/DL Drew Hahn.
Biggest holes to fill: The Knights will need to reload in a few key spots, especially at QB and on the O-line; however, they bring back a nice core of 11 returning starters (five offense, six defense).
EDGY's Early Take: The Knights are still in search of a new conference to call home after the 2018 season. The Northern Illinois Big 12 is in its last season under its current form. This year's Knights have a chance to get back to the state playoff field. The schedule is very tough, but this team will challenge every single week come August.
Here's your daily update on what the White Sox highly touted prospects are doing in the minor leagues.
Eloy Jimenez hit his eighth home run of the season in a 7-3 loss. Zack Collins and Matt Rose each had a hit, a walk and a run scored. Ian Clarkin gave up five runs and walked five in his five innings. Seby Zavala, who leads the Southern League with 10 homers, went on the disabled list with a wrist injury.
Jordan Stephens had a good second outing at the Triple-A level, allowing just one earned run in his 6.1 innings. He allowed five hits and walked two, striking out four batters. In his two starts with Charlotte, he's got a 2.19 ERA with three earned runs allowed in 12.1 innings. Charlie Tilson doubled in the 12-6 win. Thyago Vieira gave up two runs in his lone inning of work, and his ERA stands at 5.85 on the season.
Class A Winston-Salem
The bats seem to have gone a tad cold for the Dash, who suffered a 4-1 loss. The top five hitters in the lineup — Joel Booker, Alex Call, Blake Rutherford, Micker Adolfo and Gavin Sheets — combined to go 2-for-18.
Class A Kannapolis
Lincoln Henzman gave up four earned runs in five innings, allowing a pair of home runs. Luis Gonzalez and Evan Skoug each had a hit in a 5-3 loss.