ATCHISON, Kan. – The Benedictine College (1-0) defense forced the No. 12-ranked Missouri College Vikings (0-1) offense into four turnovers on Saturday afternoon as the two teams squared off in the first Heart Game of the Week of the 2017 season on O'Malley Field at Larry Wilcox Stadium.
The Ravens used a 21-point fourth quarter to turn a four-point game at the end of the third quarter into a convincing win to open up their season. The Ravens finished the game with 520 yards off 72 plays offensively to register their best single-game effort since Oct. 1 last season when they finished with 551 yards off 71 plays in a win over Central Methodist University.
Benedictine quarterback Shaefer Schuetz threw for 309 yards off 16 completions in his first start for head coach Larry Wilcox. His favorite target on the day was newcomer Aaron Jackson who finished with 145 yards off seven catches with two touchdowns. In all, Schuetz threw for four touchdowns as he connected on his other two to receiver Logan Harris. Harris added 142 yards off six catches to round out the Ravens receiving corps.
On the ground, the Ravens were anchored by a 200-yard effort from running back Ejay Johnson. He rushed the ball 36 times while adding two rushing touchdowns.
After Missouri Valley scored the first points of the game in the first quarter, the Ravens answered with a 21-point second quarter. Schuetz hit Harris for 16 yards on the first score, Johnson rushed for six-yards on the second score and Schuetz found Harris for the second time, this time on a 70-yard pass.
Leading by four points headed into the fourth quarter, the Ravens struck again for 21 points in the fourth quarter. Schuetz connected with Jackson on a six-yard pass for the first score, Johnson added a two-yard rush for the second square and the scoring was capped off on a 53-yard pass from Schuetz to Jackson.
Missouri Valley finished the game with 392 yards of total offense, with 294 through the air. The Benedictine defense limited the Vikings to just 98 yards on the ground off 35 carries as the defensive until for the Ravens finished with five sacks for a loss of 25 yards and eight total tackles for a loss of 29 yards.
Defensively, the Ravens forced four turnovers - three interceptions and one fumble recovery. Demaria Walters recorded one interception and the fumble recovery while Dayton Bush and Jalen James accounted for the other two interceptions. James also led the Ravens with eight tackles while Tyler Shepard finished with two of the Ravens five sacks.
Benedictine remains at home on Sept. 2 as they take on their second Heart South opponent as Evangel University comes to O'Malley Field for a 1 p.m. kick off. The Crusaders opened their season on Thursday with a 37-17 loss to No. 9 Grand View University in Des Moines.