WILMINGTON — Quasim Benson rushed for 230 yards on 22 carries, scoring three touchdowns as St. Elizabeth remained unbeaten with a 26-0 win over Tatnall on Sept. 23 at Abessinio Stadium. It was the Vikings’ first home game of the season.
St. Elizabeth forced the Hornets to turn the ball over on downs on the first drive of the game, and the Vikings began a drive that took nearly seven minutes off the clock and ended with Benson’s first touchdown. The senior set the tone on the team’s first play from scrimmage, running for 34 yards to set the Vikings up at their own 49 yard line.
Benson converted a third down during the drive, picking up 11 yards when his team needed 10. Quarterback Cole Soto floated a pass to tight end Carl Taylor a few plays later on a third and six, with Taylor’s nine-yard reception giving St. E’s another first down at the Tatnall 27. From there, Benson did the rest of the work, eventually going in from a yard out.
The Vikings added to the lead in the middle of the second on a 56-yard drive. Benson again got things started with an 11-yard burst, but Soto went to the air on the next play, finding Thomas Schiavoni through the air for another 15 yards. Benson covered the remaining 30 yards, with the big play being a 20-yard gain on third and three from the 23. He scored on a three-yard run.
A fumble forced by Taylor resulted in a Vikings possession with six minutes left in the half, and it didn’t take long for St. Elizabeth to strike. Benson took a handoff on first down, eluded a would-be tackler in the backfield, then zipped around the left side and down the sideline into the end zone for a 50-yard score. The extra point was no good, and the Vikings took a 20-0 lead into intermission.
St. Elizabeth added its final score on its initial second-half possession. The 72-yard drive included a 59-yard scamper by Benson down the left side, but the Hornet caught up to him at the 8. Soto threw his first touchdown pass of the season three plays later, a two-yard floater into the right corner of the end zone.
As good as they were offensively, the Vikings’ were equally effective on defense. The front four of Jackson Benjamin, Eric O’Neill, Mitchell Butler and Taylor were in the Hornets’ backfield all night, limiting the damage the Tatnall offense could do. Still, Hornets running back Rashan LaMons, the electric junior, managed to gain 87 yards on just seven carries, and Micah Stamper had 42 yards on seven carries.
St. Elizabeth (3-0) will play at Glasgow on Oct. 1 at noon, while Tatnall (0-3) plays the fourth of five straight road games to open the season on Sept. 29 at Dickinson at 6 p.m.