Redwings defense makes big difference in season-opening win over St. Laurence
Benet Academy football coach Pat New knew his defense would be key and it didn’t disappoint during the team’s 27-10 season-opening win over St. Laurence.
“Our defensive line is the best we’ve had since I’ve been head coach,” New told the Chicago Tribune. “We’re expecting a lot of sacks out of those guys this year. A great D-line helps everything else."
The Redwings sacked Vikings quarterback Darius Wilson six times and limited St. Laurence’s offense to just a field goal in wreaking havoc from the opening kickoff in the High School Kickoff Classic at Huskie Stadium.
St. Laurence’s only other score came on Brailyn Johnson's 67-yard interception return.
Jumping out to a 14-0 lead, the Redwings allayed New’s fears early on and never looked back.
“That team scares me because they’ve got really great coaching and a lot of speed,” Benet told the Tribune. “That was key. If we didn’t do that, we’d have a real barnburner on our hands.”
Both early scores came on a pair of scoring jaunts by quarterback Colin Gillespie, who also passed for 210 yards and a score. Gillespie looked comfortable under center after being thrust into unexpected duty last season by injury.
“I was pretty nervous last year,” he said. “I just got thrown in. This year, I’m confident. I’m ready to go. The speed of the game is really slowing down. The reads are easier.”
New has noticed the difference.
“We still have to watch for careless plays,” he said. “But he’s just going to get better and better as the season wears on.”