LISLE | Washington learned it was in for a long night on the opening kickoff.
Benet senior Jack Toner returned the kick 94 yards for a touchdown, setting the tone for the Redwings’ 62-0 victory Friday in Lisle over the visitors from Chicago’s southeast side.
It was a great way to start the season for the Redwings (1-0), which won only one game all last season and scored just 43 points in 2011.
"We came into this game pretty mad, and we’re going to take that through the entire season," Benet junior Porter Ontko said.
"These guys have done such a great job of looking forward," Benet coach Pat New added. "We all sat in a room last November and made a commitment: We’re going to do what it takes to be successful. I don’t think anybody’s worked harder than these guys in the off-season."
The Redwings had a lot of success Friday, and they spread it around.
"The score started moving so fast, I felt the need to make some changes," New said.
Ontko scored on touchdown runs of 1 and 77 yards, then Toner scored again on a 15-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Jack Beneventi. Nick McTarnaghan’s 10-yard run made it 34-0 after one quarter.
Senior Connor Crouch caught a 16-yard TD pass from senior quarterback JT Crosby in the second quarter, and junior running back Ryan Gourley added scoring runs of 1, 2 and 4 yards.
"It was a tough one," said Washington coach Jimmy Smith, who sought the game ona one-year contract with Benet as a change of scenery for his players. "I lost a lot of seniors last year, so I knew it was going to be a tough one, but I wanted to basically get my guys’ feet wet, just throw them in there, because playing at this level with Benet in the East Suburban Catholic (Conference), I told my guys, their record wasn’t good last year, but they play stiff competition. So now we go back to Windy City CPS and hopefully this will prepare us for the rest of the season."
The victory should give the Redwings plenty of confidence going into next week’s road game against South Elgin.
"It makes you feel good when you start off 1-0," New said. "It just makes you feel better. With these guys especially, their confidence will build as a result."
The game helped Beneventi especially, New said.
"I was really pleased with our sophomore quarterback. He wasn’t shaking at all. He looked like a veteran out there," he said.
Smith liked what he saw offensively of sophomore Dariel Whitehead and junior Tory Fenderson.
"They showed me some explosiveness," Smith said. "We’ve just got to get them a little help as far as blocking is concerned."
Junior quarterback Aaron Cruz also impressed Smith.
"He had some jitterbugs, but his head is starting to clear a little bit," he said.