Benton rallies past Chillicothe

By Paul Sturm Special to the St. Joseph News-Press
Posted: September 23, 2011 - 11:07 PM

For the second week in a row, Benton reinforced how critical turnovers are in football.


This time, however, the Cardinals demonstrated it from the good side in a 27-10 Midland Empire Conference win at Jerry Litton Memorial Stadium.


Reducing their own giveaways from six the previous game to one Friday, the Cardinals took the ball away three times on fumbles and once by interception against Chillicothe. Eric Davidson, Matt Cowles, and Colby Bradford fell on the loose balls as Chillicothe fumbled five times, giving the Hornets 11 lost for the year.


“That was the difference in the game was our ability to hold onto it and make plays and their turnovers really are what hurts them,” said Benton coach Matt Tabor, whose team moved to 4-1 overall and 2-1 in the MEC.


“Turnovers are just killing us,” Chillicothe coach Phil Willard said.


Chillicothe also had a would-be touchdown negated by a blocking penalty behind the play as linebacker Connor Dixon returned an interception of a deflected pass 75 yards. Two plays later, Chris Young caught up to an open receiver in the end zone and made a leaping interception, keeping Benton in front 6-3.


The Cardinals then drove 80 yards in nine plays to boost their margin to 12-3 at halftime. A perfectly timed rollout shovel pass from Trevor Peters to Lucas Powers caught Chillicothe in a stunt, and Powers darted 37 yards to score with 1:52 left in the half.

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