Muskie Football Rolls By Benedictine; 8-2 Record Best
November 8, 2003
Lakeland Football defeated Benedictine University in an offensive shoot-out 61-34 Saturday afternoon in Lisle, IL. The Muskies finished the season 8-2 overall and 6-1 in the IBFC (Illini-Badger Football Conference). Benedictine dropped to 2-8 overall and 2-5 in the IBFC. The 6-1 mark in the IBFC was good for second place for the Muskies.
The Muskies offense is used to big days as they averaged 40.1 points per game
this season and outscored their opponents 401 to 164. They covered for the defense
Saturday...a defense that surprisingly struggled against the Eagles.
With 95 total points scored and over 900 yards of total offense, it's a given many players had career days and no doubt both teams had their fair share.
For the Muskies senior quarterback Brent Luebke threw for 318 yards with 3 TD's, and he also ran for 55 yards and 2 more TD's. Freshman running back Marcus Denham led the rushing attack with 93 yards and 3 scores. Wrapping up the huge statistical day for the Muskies was senior wide receiver Shaun Behrend with 6 catches for 130 yards and 2 TD's.
Benedictine's attack wasn't quite as balanced as Lakeland's. Junior quarterback Ryan Keag tossed for 295 yards and an impressive 5 TD's. His favorite target, senior wide receiver Sebastin Singleton, was nearly unstoppable with 15 receptions for 262 yards and 4 TD's.
Overall, Lakeland accumulated 526 yards of total offense with 318 coming through the air and 208 on the ground. They had 26 first downs and had 146 more yards on returns. The Muskies only downfall was the 174 yards they racked up in penalties. Benedictine finished with 373 total yards with 319 coming via the pass and only 54 yards on the ground. The Eagles soared for 20 first downs and had an additional 101 return yards.
Benedictine actually jumped out to an early 7-0 lead on a 57 yard touchdown strike from Keag to Singleton early in the first quarter at the 13:36 mark.
The Muskies answered right back with two quick scores to take a lead they would never relinquish. First, Lakeland scored on an 11 yard run by Luebke, tying the game at 7's with 10:36 to go in the quarter. On the ensuing kick-off Benedictine fumbled giving the ball back to the Muskies. On their first play from scrimmage Behrend caught a 34 yard bomb from Luebke down the right sideline making it 14-7 Lakeland with 10:24 to play in the first period.
Lakeland went through a short scoring drought until early in the 2nd quarter when Denham punched it in from 9 yards out giving the Muskies some breathing room at 20-7.
Before Denham could score his second touchdown the Muskie lead was cut to 20-14, as Singleton grabbed his second touchdown reception from 5 yards out at the 10:19 mark of the second quarter. But Denham answered with a 6 yard run with 6:43 to go in the half to make it 27-14.
Once again Singleton would answer for Benedictine on a 24 yard touchdown reception, which made it 27-21 Muskies with 3:24 to go in the half. In a game like this, that's way too much time for an explosive offense like Lakeland's.
Jeff Taff wasted no time cashing in for the Muskies as busted the ensuing kickoff for an 86 yard touchdown. Taff went untouched down the left sideline as the Muskies set up the exciting return with a wall of blockers to pave Taff's way.
The Muskies took a 41-21 lead into the locker room at half when Denham scored his 3rd touchdown by punching it in from one yard out with 27 seconds to go in the half following a Benedictine interception.
In the second half the Muskies scored twice more to put the game out of reach. Luebke ran it in from 2 yards out to make it 47-21 with 5:01 to go in the third quarter. After Singleton scored yet again on a 3 yard reception to make it 47-28 at the end of the third quarter, Taff scored on the first play of the fourth quarter to make it 54-28. This time Taff caught a 5 yard pass from Luebke with 14:55 to go in the game.
Benedictine scored again to make it 54-34 with 10:11 to go in the game on a 10 yard touchdown pass.
Lakeland completed the scoring with a 31 yard touchdown pass from Luebke to Behrend with 8:30 to play for the final touchdown of the season.
Despite the score there were two defensive standouts. For the Muskies junior linebacker Jacob Vigilante tallied 8 solo tackles, including 3 that went for losses. Benedictine linebacker Mike Baumgartner had 11 solo tackles and assisted on 3 others to lead the Eagles.
The 8-2 record is Lakeland's best finish since 1997, when they finished 10-0.