Benedictine Rally Falls Short

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LISLE, IL - The Benedictine University football team lost for the first time in conference play, suffering a 32-29 loss to Lakeland University on homecoming.

Benedictine was unable to notch a third late fourth quarter comeback, falling short on a field goal attempt to tie with 35 seconds left. Benedictine took the lead with just over five minutes left, but Lakeland answered in only three plays to score the winning touchdown.

Both teams did not score in the opening 15 minutes of play. Lakeland opened the scoring at the 10:01 mark of the second quarter. Jarrett Lecas blocked the extra-point. The first points for Benedictine came on a safety with 5:45 to go in the half on a snap through the endzone. The points were the first of 15 unanswered for Benedictine to close the half.

JaVon McBride returned the free kick 59 yards to set up the first touchdown. Ryan Sample plunged in from a yard out to finish a six-play drive with 2:58 remaining, handing Benedictine the lead for the first time. The defense forced a quick three-and-out and used a short field to open a 15-6 edge. Sample broke away for a 25-yard rush to scoot into the endzone with 38 seconds left.

Lakeland produced three third quarter touchdowns to open a 26-15 advantage. Benedictine responded with two fourth quarter scores to grab the advantage. Derrick Miles finished a drive early in the fourth quarter with a 13-yard run to pull Benedictine within 26-21. Another stop from the defense enabled the go-ahead drive.

Sample completed a 10-play drive with a four-yard touchdown run, scoring with 5:40 remaining to give Benedictine a 29-26 lead after a two-point conversion pass to Elijah Walker. Lakeland needed just three plays to drive down and strike the game-winning score. Benedictine marched to the Lakeland 12-yardline but could not finish to tie the game.

Benedictine held a 31:26-28:34 time of possession advantage. Lakeland gained 355 yards while Benedictine put up 312. Benedictine attempted a season high 41 rushes, racking up 185 yards on the ground.

Sample scored three touchdowns on the ground, finishing with 43 yards on eight attempts. Sample also completed 16 passes for 113 yards. Luke Ludolph caught five passes for 51 yards and also attempted a rush while completing a pass for 14 yards. Neither team turned the ball over.

Lecas led Benedictine with 11 tackles while blocking two extra points. Danny Drummond totaled 10 stops including 2.5 for loss. Jordan Wallace tallied a pair of sacks. Benedictine accumulated four sacks and nine tackles for loss.

Benedictine (4-2, 2-1 NACC) takes a break from conference play to meet Olivet College next week in Michigan.

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