Benton tops Leblond for first win

By Brandon Zenner News-Press Now
Posted: September 14, 2018 - 11:31 PM

In a matchup of crosstown rivals Friday at Sparks Field, the Benton Cardinals stuck to what they know best.

Garrison Dydell and Brennen Flint rushed in a pair of scores as Benton pulled away for a 39-14 win against Bishop LeBlond for Kevin Keeton’s first win as head coach of the South Side.

Along with a steady dose of Austin Butts, Flint and Dydell helped lead a triple rushing attack for the Cardinals (1-3, 1-1 MEC) as they controlled the tempo of the game and wore down the under-manned Golden Eagles (0-4, 0-2).

“Our kids needed this. This isn’t about me,” Keeton said. “Our kids needed to have some fruit, so I’m excited for that. … I say this way too much, but it’s the truth — this is a journey. Each week we do things that we can build off of.”

The Cardinals took the game while losing the turnover battle with a pair of interceptions by Caden Stone — both to opposing quarterback Frankie Gall — and a fumble into the arms of Jack Jarrett.

“If we want to, we can do what we want,” Flint, a senior running back, said following the win. “There ain’t no team that can stop us if we put in the effort, our line blocks and our running backs run hard like they did (Friday night).”

LeBlond had the first chance to light up the scoreboard until a short field-goal miss led to a long touchdown drive, resulting in a 1-yard plunge by Flint.

The Eagles stormed down the field behind a strong run up the middle by Kyle Knapp, but another missed field goal left nothing to show for the road team.

Gall responded shortly after with the first of two takeaways through the air, though the drive would stall out. Gall later corrected a lost fumble with a second interception one play later, but a Joe Ford field goal and a Dydell rushing touchdown pushed Benton’s halftime lead to 17-0.

“The moral of the story is you’ve gotta make plays. The two drives early in the first pass, we hit them in the hands for touchdowns. If they don’t catch it, they (the referees) don’t (raise their arms). Then we missed a couple field goals. … I thought our kids showed fight throughout the night. I thought Frankie Gall had a career night.”

Keeton emphasized the praise for Gall, who dictated the LeBlond offense while serving as a takeaway threat in the secondary.

“(Gall) is as good as anybody we will see all year,” Keeton said.

LeBlond finally capitalized in the third quarter after Jarrett’s fumble recovery in Benton territory. Gall rolled out on a keeper to his left and beat the defense to the pylon to pull within 17-7.

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