BC Locks Up HAAC's Top Offense, Climbs to #9 in NAIA
- Tuesday, October 14, 2003
Benedictine moved up to No. 9 in the nation this week on the shoulders of a defense that has become the staple of the Raven football program. After last Saturday’s 37-7 dismantling of Missouri Valley (3-3), BC (5-1) is gaining recognition in the conference and beyond.
The Ravens have won five straight and the defensive unit now ranks No. 6 overall in the NAIA. In the HAAC, Benedictine leads all other defenses allowing an average of 11 points on 251.3 yards per game.
Missouri Valley, who entered Saturday's game with the conference's leading offense, was completely shut down in the first half. BC’s defense kept Mo. Valley off the scoreboard, didn’t allow a single first down and held the Vikings to just 20 yards rushing and two pass completions.
Chad Renfro, senior, led the Ravens with seven tackles and recovered a muffed punt. Brock Schwartz, senior, recorded three tackles and his second interception of the year. Marlon Amey, senior, was nominated for HAAC Defensive Player of the Week for his effort – one tackle and 4 deflected passes.
Weather conditions (rain for most of the first half) certainly didn’t help Mo. Valley’s campaign but didn’t seem to slow the Ravens. Mo. Valley's offense committed seven turnovers (four fumbles, three interceptions), converted just 1-of-14 on third down, gained 34 yards rushing and scored no points from scrimmage. Mo. Valley’s only touchdown came on an 11-yard interception return in the fourth quarter.
Benedictine’s offense had its first 100-yard runner of the year - Matt Nierman, junior, gained over 100 yards in the first half and finished the game with 142 yards on 28 attempts. Fran Johnson, junior, completed 11-of-17 passes, threw for 130 yards and had two rushing touchdowns. Craig Johnson, senior, led all receivers with 90 yards on six receptions.
BC’s kicker, Javier Rodas, senior, made field goals from 25, 38, and 36 yards out. Rodas leads the conference with 9 made field goals.
The HAAC Special Teams Player of the Week was awarded to Nick Gonzales, junior. Gonzales blocked a punt in the fourth quarter and returned it nine yards for a touchdown.
This Saturday (Oct. 18), the Ravens travel to Olathe, KS to square off against reigning conference champs MidAmerica Nazarene. This will mark the third time in four weeks that BC has faced the conference’s leading offensive unit.
(Note – the conference’s leading offense has changed two times in the last three weeks…)
Both teams are undefeated in conference and the outcome of this Saturday's game will likely determine the conference champion. Last year, MidAmerica stole a 21-17 victory from the Ravens in Olathe. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.