WILMINGTON — St. Elizabeth continued its impressive football season on Oct. 22 with a 50-7 win over St. Andrew’s at Abessinio Stadium. The Vikings improved to 7-0 with the victory.
Last year in Middletown, the Vikings Quasim Benson went nuts against the Saints, rushing for 500 yards and eight touchdowns for the Vikings. He did not have those kinds of numbers this season, but he’ll likely accept the four touchdowns he managed.
The first came on the opening drive of the game. The Saints recalled last season’s game and concentrated on Benson, but he was still able to rush for all 49 yards on the drive. The big run went for 33 yards on third down, setting St. Elizabeth up at the 12. Benson got all of those on the next play, going around left end for the score and a 6-0 lead two minutes in.
St Andrew’s showed some promise offensively later in the first. Quarterback Frank Nasta big on high-percentage passes, including one to Griffin Patterson that covered 33 yards and set the Saints up at the Vikings’ 32. The drive stalled at the St. Elizabeth 6, helped by the Vikings’ Jimmy Garrett, who broke up a pass play on third and goal from the 8. A field goal attempt was wide.
Benson was dominant on the ensuing possession. He ran for 18 yards on first down, just one of several nice rushes for the senior. He finished that series with another 12-yard run, this time around the right side, and St. E’s went ahead, 13-0, with 1:23 left in the first.
Benson added a 19-yard run to begin the Vikings’ next drive, but that 62-yard march also included a long run for Gavin Andrews and a pass to Chris Caracter that set them up at the St. Andrew’s 4. Steph Goodman, a lineman, took care of the final four yards, bulling his way up the middle and just over the goal line. With nine minutes left in the half, the Vikings’ lead reached 20-0.
Garrett’s interception and return to the Saints’ 44 put the Vikings in business a few plays later. Benson and Andrews led the ground attack covering that yardage, with Benson scoring for the third time on a 2-yard run.
The Saints answered this time. Nasta again went to the air to move downfield, with NAME making a beautiful catch along the sideline to get St. Andrew’s into the red zone. St. Elizabeth nearly got out of this jam like they did the previous one, but William Dulaney scored on a fourth and inches from just over a yard out with 1:18 left in the half. The extra point made it 26-7.
Instead of letting the Saints back in the game, the Vikings stepped on the gas. Starting at their own 36, the Vikings needed just two Benson rushes to get that touchdown back. Benson ran for 11 yards on the first play, then the other 53 untouched on the second. The drive took 20 seconds.
The kickoff glanced off a Saints returner, and Mikey Downes slid into the ball at the St. Andrew’s 25. Quarterback Cole Soto lofted the ball on first down toward receiver Chris Caracter. The senior ignored the defender and looked the ball into his hands for the score. Caracter made an even better catch in the corner of the end zone on the two-point conversion.
Those two touchdowns — scored 10 seconds apart — were enough to prompt a running clock for the second half.
No statistics were available early Sunday morning. The win sets St. Elizabeth up for a showdown with fellow unbeaten Charter School of Wilmington next Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Abessinio Stadium. The Saints (3-4) are home on Saturday at noon against Havre de Grace (Md.).