Led by running back Warren Ball, the DeSales High School football team beat visiting Cleveland Benedictine 31-14 on Friday Oct. 28.
The Stallions improved to 6-3, while Benedictine dropped to 7-3.
Ball rushed for 72 yards on 23 carries and scored two touchdowns. He opened the scoring with a 2-yard run in the first quarter. Following a blocked punt by Benedictine, Bengals running back Bryan Lacy scored on a 7-yard run to tie the game at 7.
In the second quarter, defensive back Jalen Noble scored on a 60-yard punt return to give DeSales and Marq Pannell scored on a 30-yard interception return to give the Stallions a 21-7 lead.
Ball then scored on a 1-yard run, giving DeSales a 28-7 halftime lead.
“I thought our defense played great,” DeSales coach Ryan Wiggins said. “… They made some plays when our offense was struggling in the first half and our defense scored.
“I think our defense really got us through some tough times tonight.”
In the second half, Benedictine showed life with a long drive led by quarterback Dan Piascik. The drive ended end with a 4-yard touchdown run by Piascik, who had nine completions for 103 yards.
“I think we have some talented skill players,” Benedictine coach Ben Malbasa said. “I thought overall our quarterback made some great plays and he had some tough moments.”
The Stallions closed the scoring with a 29-yard field goal by kicker Anthony Ciammaichella.
DeSales, which finished with 110 yards passing and 125 yards rushing, secured its 18th playoff berth and will open the Division III, Region 10 playoffs on Nov. 4.
“It’s nice to be in,” Wiggins said. “We’ve won four games in a row now, so we feel like our team’s playing well and hopefully stays healthy. We want to be playing well at this time of the year.”
BENEDICTINE 7 0 7 0 -- 14
DESALES 7 21 3 0 -- 31
D--Ball 2 run (Ciammaichella kick)
B--Lacy 7 run (Leahy kick)
D--Noble 60 punt return (Ciammaichella kick)
D--Pannell 30 interception return (Ciammaichella kick)
D--Ball 1 run (Ciammaichella kick)
B--Piascik 4 run (Leahy kick)
D--Ciammaichella 29 FG