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Benedictine Ends Season With 4th Straight

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LISLE, IL - The Benedictine University football team held off visiting Aurora University to end the season with a fourth straight win and claim second place in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference.

Both teams opened the game with three-and-outs. A solid punt return by Juwann Nelson allowed Benedictine to open the second possession at the Aurora 45-yard line. Joe Marella snared a 23-yard pass from Ryan Sample to keep the drive alive on a third-and-10 play. Matt Fleming scored the first points of the game on a 22-yard pass on another third-and-10 play with 10:06 remaining in the first quarter, giving Benedictine a 7-0 lead.

Benedictine saw another drive stall at the Aurora 9-yard line late in the first. The defense held, but a punt followed by a penalty pinned Benedictine at their own 5-yard line with 1:03 left in the opening quarter. Nine plays and 95 yards later the lead extended to 14-0 when Brandon Moore streaked over the middle for a 30-yard touchdown grab. Sample completed seven passes on the drive, which took just 3:03. Grant Jochums hauled in four passes. Tyler Mitchell intercepted a pass in the endzone following a Benedictine turnover to ensure the first half ended with no more points on the board as Benedictine led 14-0.

Aurora received the ball to begin the second half and proceeded to march 75 yards on 12 plays in 6:38 to pull within 14-7. Benedictine responded by driving deep onto the Aurora side with a 13-play drive, but came away empty following a sack on fourth down at the Aurora 13.

The final Benedictine points came in the opening moments of the fourth quarter. Sample connected with Fleming on a 21-yard score at the 13:23 mark, completing a 65-yard drive. The defense halted Aurora at the Benedictine 20-yard line but a fumble was returned 43 yards for a touchdown, bringing Aurora within 20-14 with 8:17 left. Aurora had an opportunity to potentially tie or take the lead, gaining possession with 3:20 to go but stalled on a fourth-and-3 from the Benedictine 26, bringing an end to the contest.

Benedictine finished with 351 yards while holding Aurora to 276. The last two opponents did not total over 300 yards. Benedictine held five opponents under 300 yards this season. Sample finished with 281 yards passing, completing 28 passes with three touchdowns. Sample added 29 yards on the ground. Fleming caught six passes for 56 yards with a pair of touchdowns. Dean Pauley caught five passes for 65 yards while Jochums and Marella also added five receptions. Evontrae Pierce led the defense with nine tackles and a sack. Two of the tackles were for loss. Austin Nirva and Brad Nolan each added eight tackles.

Benedictine (7-3, 5-1 NACC) improved one game overall from the 2016 season and finished in second place in the NACC.

Nov. 18: All times Eastern
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at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
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at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
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at Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0
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Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
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at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
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at Wesley 45, RPI 27
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at Washington and Jefferson 31, Johns Hopkins 28
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at Trine 63, Monmouth 24
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Chapman 6
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Case Western Reserve 28, at Illinois Wesleyan 0
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Final
at UW-Oshkosh 63, Lakeland 0
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Final
at St. Thomas 47, Eureka 8
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final - OT
at Wartburg 35, Franklin 34
Video Preview Box Score Live stats Photos
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 17, St. John's 7
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Final
at Linfield 27, Hardin-Simmons 13
Box Score Photos
Nov. 25: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Wesley at Brockport
12:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Mount Union
Video Preview Preview Live stats Audio Tickets
12:00 PM
Frostburg State at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Husson at Delaware Valley
Live stats
1:00 PM
Berry at St. Thomas
Live stats Live stats Audio Audio Video
1:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at UW-Oshkosh
Video Live stats Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Linfield at Mary Hardin-Baylor
1:00 PM
Trine at Wartburg
Video Live stats
Nov. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Muhlenberg 32, at Carnegie Mellon 6
@ Newark, Del.
Video Box Score
Final
at Franklin and Marshall 21, Widener 7
Video Box Score
Final
Susquehanna 28, at Albright 9
Video Box Score
Final
at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Trine 63, Monmouth 24
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Wesley 45, RPI 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 31, Johns Hopkins 28
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Husson 23, at Springfield 21
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Framingham State 48, Curry 14
Video Box Score
Final
Cortland 35, at Union 28
Box Score Recap
Final
Case Western Reserve 28, at Illinois Wesleyan 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final - OT
at Wartburg 35, Franklin 34
Video Preview Box Score Live stats Photos
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Chapman 6
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 63, Lakeland 0
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 17, St. John's 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at St. Thomas 47, Eureka 8
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final
at Linfield 27, Hardin-Simmons 13
Box Score Photos
Final
at Ithaca 27, Salisbury 17
@ Newark, Del.
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at WPI 17, SUNY-Maritime 3
Box Score Recap
Nov. 19: All times Eastern
Final
at Alfred 29, Stevenson 16
@ University of Delaware
Video Box Score Recap