Le Blond tops Benton for historic victory

By Ross Martin The St. Joseph News-Press
Posted: October 6, 2012 - 12:39 AM



Bishop LeBlond couldn’t fully start its celebration until falling on top of a misdirected onside kick.

Once the Golden Eagles secured their 19-18 victory against Benton on Friday night, they let loose the emotion, an atypical scene for a win against a downtrodden foe.

 

This LeBlond season continues to be anything but ordinary.

Benton failed on a potential winning two-point conversion with 59 seconds left at Eagle Stadium, and Cardinals kicker Derek Kendall sent the ensuing onside kick to the wrong side of the field, where only three Benton players resided.

LeBlond could finally enjoy another historic win — the first over a fellow city school in more than 2 1/2 decades, improving to 5-2 overall to ensure a first season that will end at least at .500 since 2002.

“Here’s what it is for us: it’s been a long journey,” said veteran hall of fame LeBlond coach Tony Dudik, now in his third year with the Eagles after winning just one game in each of his first two years after coming over from Central. “A year ago, you witnessed a couple of games where we were ahead at half, ahead at three quarters, and we didn’t know how to finish games.

“And by God, we finished tonight.”

LeBlond (5-2, 3-2 Midland Empire Conference) scored on three straight second-half possessions to overcome a 12-0 halftime deficit.

Running back Austin Dawkins took the bulk of LeBlond’s carries after halftime, including a move to Wildcat-formation quarterback in a new package the coaching staff installed this week. He scored on runs of 24 and 11 in the third quarter then used a rare chance to show off his arm to set up the winning touchdown.

“Dawk has been the leader of our ball club for all three years that I’ve been here,” Dudik said. “What that boy has is a heart the size of a dad-gum mountain.”

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