With an 18th consecutive postseason berth likely wrapped up, the DeSales High School football team will look to secure a home playoff game and possibly the No. 1 seed in Division III, Region 10 when it plays host to Cleveland Benedictine on Friday, Oct. 28.

With an 18th consecutive postseason berth likely wrapped up, the DeSales High School football team will look to secure a home playoff game and possibly the No. 1 seed in Division III, Region 10 when it plays host to Cleveland Benedictine on Friday, Oct. 28.

Although the Stallions have beaten the Bengals the past four seasons, including 35-17 a year ago, Benedictine has emerged as one of the surprise teams in northeast Ohio this fall.

After the Bengals won back-to-back Division III state titles in 2003 and 2004, they went just 18-42 over the next six seasons.

This season, under first-year coach Ben Malbasa, Benedictine is 7-2 after beating Chardon Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin 42-16 on Oct. 21.

DeSales was fifth in Region 10 before beating Cincinnati LaSalle 52-7 on Oct. 21 to improve to 5-3. Benedictine was sixth in Division III, Region 9 before Oct. 21.

"I know they've struggled the last several seasons, but they were playing a brutal schedule," DeSales coach Ryan Wiggins said. "Benedictine has a great tradition, and we know a little bit about tradition here. I think it's a great game heading into the playoffs."

Through eight games, Benedictine was led by Bryan Lacey (1,071 yards and 12 touchdowns) and quarterback Dan Piascik (70-for-139 passing for 1,056 yards with eight touchdowns and 12 interceptions). On Oct. 21, Lacey rushed for two touchdowns and Piascik added two touchdown passes.

Other key players for Benedictine include running backs Marshall Howell and Mike Roberts and lineman Joe Nawalaniec. Through eight games, Howell had 35 catches for 430 yards and Roberts had 33 receptions for 564 yards with four touchdowns.

The Bengals are giving up 21.3 points per game.

Against LaSalle, Warren Ball rushed 18 times for 68 yards and four touchdowns and J.T. Blubaugh had 71 yards on seven carries for DeSales. Quarterback Alex Perrine was 5-for-10 passing for 149 yards and rushed for 67 yards and a touchdown.

Adam Dobner had a 10-yard fumble return for a score, Marq Pannell had two interceptions and Jalen Noble and Tim Doone added one interception apiece.

"It's always fun to travel far away when you can come away with a win," Wiggins said. "Defensively, we held them to seven points, we created several turnovers and even had a goal-line stand in the second half. We threw the ball down the field.

"It was just a great night. Our focus is to get better each and every week and get into playoff mode."