St. Marys Veritas Christian won a key regular-season football game at St. Mary’s Academy Thursday night, 80-72, extending its winning streak over the last two seasons to 18 games.
Veritas built an 80-60 lead in the fourth quarter on a five-yard Preston Randall touchdown run. Then St. Mary’s quarterback Brian Rebilgila led a final comeback, including 40-yard and 13-yard touchdown passes with 2:46 and 38 seconds left. Following the second score, Veritas recovered the onside kick, the third consecutive from St. Mary’s, and ran out the rest of the clock to preserve the win by a touchdown.
Veritas forced a turnover in St. Mary’s territory at the start of the fourth quarter to build its lead to 20.
“I can’t remember when exactly (they forced the turnover),” Veritas coach Doug Bennett said. “The whole night is bit of a blur because there was so much offense. We were able to make a stop on their own 30 early in the fourth quarter and turn the momentum a little bit.”
Veritas still was not out of the woods at St. Mary’s.
“It didn’t mean a whole lot,” Bennett said of the 20-point lead, “because they went on to score the next two possessions. We had to fight to hang on to the win.”
Veritas (8-0), rarely challenged this season going into the St. Mary’s game, won its 18th consecutive game, dating back to Week 1 of the 2010 season, which culminated in a KCAA state championship.
Veritas’ last loss ended its 2009 season in the state playoffs, a game at home against St. Mary’s Academy.
The victory guaranteed Veritas the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage through the state playoffs.
Randall led Veritas in rushing with 260 yards and five touchdowns on 22 carries. Quarterback Nick Bennett rushed for 202 yards and four touchdowns on 26 carries. Bennett passed for 135 yards and two touchdowns, 130 yards to wideout Andrew Harvey.
Harvey led Veritas with 12 tackles on defense. Alex Lynch had nine tackles, Bryce Boland added seven.
Veritas rounds out the regular season at Flint Hills Christian in Manhattan on Thursday night.