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St. Elizabeth makes early Quasim Benson touchdown stand up in gridiron win at Wilmington Charter

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Quasim Benson celebrates his long touchdown run with a teammate. Dialog photo/Mike Lang

WILMINGTON — St. Elizabeth used an early touchdown and a solid defense to post a 20-0 shutout at Charter School of Wilmington on Nov. 7. It was the Vikings’ first win of the season.

The Vikings, taking the field for the first time in 10 days, stuffed the Force’s offense all afternoon, and they scored the only points they would need on their first drive. After a punt, they took over at the Charter 30-yard line, but two plays later they were facing a fourth and four.

Quarterback Brett Smich handed off to Quasim Benson, St. Elizabeth’s workhorse sophomore. He ran off tackle and back toward the middle of the field, and no one would catch him as he scored from 64 yards out with 9:20 to go in the quarter.

Those remained the only points of the game until four minutes into the second. A Vikings punt barely reached the end zone, giving the Force possession at their own 20. St. Elizabeth’s pass rush forced Charter quarterback Tenye Martin scrambled out of the pocket and looked to pass, but, with a defender right on him, his throw was high and intercepted by a leaping Nathan Schurga. He returned it to the Force’s 8-yard line.

Benson ran on first down for seven yards, and Smick did the rest, powering his way in from a yard out on the next play. The extra point was no good.

The Vikings ventured deep into Force territory late in the second quarter, but a sack pushed them out of field goal range, and St. Elizabeth ended up turning the ball over on downs.

Michael Downs added the final touchdown on a 13-yard run in the fourth quarter.

The Vikings improved to 1-2 and will play Saturday at 11 a.m. at First State Military Academy. Charter (0-3) heads to Delaware Military Academy for a 7 p.m. kickoff Friday.

All photos by Mike Lang.