Story by Maddie Maher, Benedictine Sports Information Office student reporter
AUBURN, Neb. - Down by 17 points with 14 minutes left in the fourth quarter, the No. 10 Benedictine (Kan.) Ravens began their best comeback of the season so far, scoring 21 points in just over 10 minutes, earning a 45-41 victory over the No. 23 Peru State (Neb.) Bobcats on the road.
The Ravens move to 4-0 on the year and is now the only undefeated team in the HAAC, as they defeated their second straight Top 25 ranked opponent.
The comeback began with a fourth down, 21-yard touchdown pass from Bill Noonan to Tim Reek. Previous to the touchdown pass, Noonan exited the game for a play after taking a hard hit. This touchdown brought the Ravens within 10 with less than 12 minutes remaining.
The Raven defense took charge, forcing Peru State to punt, for only the second time of the night. The Ravens took advantage of a short punt and started their next drive on Peru State's 47-yard-line.
Noonan quickly moved the ball to the 25-yard-line with a pass to Christian Haack. Cameron Fore gave the Ravens another first down at Peru's 14-yard-line. The Ravens moved to first and goal on the 5-yard-line due to a pass interference call against the Bobcats. With 8:26 on the clock, Fore brought the Ravens within three with a 5-yard run into the end zone.
Peru State fought for two first downs in their next drive before the Raven defense forced them to punt with under four minutes remaining. Peru State was able to spot the ball on the Benedictine 9-yard-line.
The Raven’s challenging field position didn't slow them down, and after a pass interference call on the Bobcats and a connection between Noonan and Jordan Jackson, the Ravens set up on Peru State’s 34-yard-line.
Faced with a 3rd and 10 on the Peru States 12-yard-line, Noonan found Haack in the end zone, giving the Ravens a 45-41 lead with 1:07 left on the clock--their first lead since the beginning of the second quarter.
Peru State had one last chance to comeback, driving from their 35-yard-line to the Ravens 24-yard-line. With 8.4 seconds left on the clock, the Bobcats quarterback, Tyler Audsley, launched the ball into a cluster of players in the back right corner of the end zone, where it was broken up, giving the Ravens the victory.
"It was a wild game," said Larry Wilcox, head coach of the Ravens. "We were very fortunate to get a win against an outstanding team and a team that played a great football game. I've got to give Peru a lot of credit."
Noonan threw for 473 yards off of 33 for 50 passes. He recorded 3 touchdowns and threw one interception. After setting a new single-game passing mark last week against Baker, Noonan’s 33 completions set another single-game record this week.
Haack led the Ravens in receiving yards with 148 yards off of nine catches and recorded two touchdowns. Jackson added 130 yards off of 7 catches while Jarrin Walton with 122 yards off of 10 catches giving Benedictine three receivers with over 100 yards.
After rushing for over 100 yards the past two weeks, Fore led the Ravens with 76 rushing yards off of 13 carries, as Benedictine went to the air in the second half as they mounted their comeback.
Ely Hendricks led the Raven defense with 17 tackles, 11 of which were solo. Ray Gregg and Tyler Savage each finished with 10 tackles. Andrew Leathers added two fumble recoveries.