St. Joe Benton edges Grain Valley

By The St. Joseph News-Press staff
Posted: September 1, 2012 - 12:03 AM

Trailing by five with 6 minutes, 24 seconds to play Friday, Benton coach Matt Tabor knew the answer to change some minds about his team.

The answer: Be physical.

Benton drove 60 yards on 10 plays in 4:41 to take a 1-point advantage over Grain Valley. Soon after, the Cardinals’ defense forced a turnover on downs to secure a dramatic 13-12 victory at Sparks Field. The win came less than one week after Benton lost 69-13 to Ozark.

Running back Dontae White scored on an 8-yard run late and gave Grain Valley only 2:28 to answer.

“I wrote on the board, ‘If you don’t do the things we ask you to do and you do your own thing, it gets you beat 69-13,’” Tabor said. “So I told them, ‘You’re going to play our way around here. You’re going to get tough. And we’re going to execute.’

“And that’s exactly what we did tonight.”

Benton’s winning march started at its own 40-yard line.

With less than 3 minutes to play, Benton drove to Grain Valley’s 38 but ultimately faced a fourth-and-short. Tabor opted to give the ball to fullback Emilio Whytus, who carried Benton to a fresh set of downs.

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