Facing their third straight NAIA Top 25-ranked opponent on O'Malley Field this season, the No. 21-ranked Raven football team scored 13 points directly off turnovers Saturday as Benedictine beat No. 21-ranked Evangel University 16-6.
Benedictine (3-2, 2-1 Heart) forced a total of five turnovers en route to the win as Evangel (3-2, 2-1 Heart) threw three interceptions and fumbled the ball twice.
After playing to a 3-point tie after the first quarter, Benedictine outscored Evangel 10-3 in the second quarter to take a 13-6 lead into halftime.
Benedictine kicker Derek Rogers converted on kicks of 19, 22 and 28 yards while converting his lone point after attempt to account for 10 of Benedictine's 16 points.
The Ravens lone touchdown came with two-minutes and 59 seconds remaining in the second quarter when running back Tyler Henness scored on a 7-yard rush. The rush capped off a 10-play, 76-yard drive to give Benedictine its first lead of the game. A lead they would hold for the remainder of the game.
Offensively, Benedictine finished with 354 yards of total offense, rushing for 252 yards off 54 carries. Headed into Saturday's game, Evangel has given up an average of 142.3 yards on the ground but for the second straight week they allowed their opponent to surpass the 200-yard rushing mark as the Ravens wracked up the most yards on the ground against the Evangel defense.
While the Ravens were running over the Crusader defense, the Raven defense held Evangel to just 75 yards on the ground off 32 carries. In five games this season, the Raven defense has now limited their opponents under 100 yards rushing three times.
Henness led the Ravens in rushing with 181 yards off 36 carries while Marlon Mitchell added 41 yards off seven carries.
Tim Reek caught three passes for 56 yards to lead the Raven receivers.
Defensively, Josh Montgomery led the Ravens with eight tackles, followed by Aric Bundage with seven. Montgomery accounted for one of the Ravens three interceptions while Alex Hibler and Bryce Barnett recorded the remaining two.
The Ravens forced four fumbles defensively, recovering two. Jordan Colonius and Rober Wheeler accounted for the two fumble recoveries.
Benedictine heads out on the road Saturday to take on NAIA No. 2 Baker University at 7 p.m. inside Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City as Benedictine and Baker square off in the second half of the 2014 NAIA Gridiron Challenge at Arrowhead.
Baker remained undefeated with a 24-10 win over Peru State College on Saturday setting up the showdown with the Ravens.