BENTON -- Senior quarterback Hamilton Page threw five touchdown passes, including three to classmate Neal Carlton as Benton shut out Pinckneyville 41-0 at Tabor Field on Friday night.
Benton jumped out to a 20-0 halftime lead and added three more scores in the third quarter to get a running clock for the duration of the game.
Page connected with Cade Thomas on a 23-yard touchdown on the Rangers' second possession. Carlton caught his first TD pass for 11 yards early in the second quarter. The Rangers scored their third and final touchdown of the half with 5:39 remaining when Page scrambled from 5 yards out on a broken play.
"For myself, it's probably up there top five. It's actually number one or two for me because I never had these kind of numbers," Page said of his performance. Page had 215 yards of passing, connecting on 17-of-23 passes. He was intercepted once.
Benton fumbled on the first play from scrimmage, an opportunity the visitors failed to capitalize on.
"I think the fumble they made and we didn't capitalize on it kind of flattened our tires," said Pinckneyville coach Tod Rushing. "When things like that happen you get emotionally high and when you don't prosper from it, sometimes it takes the wind out of your sail and that's what happened to us. We pretty well got run over at that point."
Benton's second and third touchdowns were the result of Pinckneyville turnovers with Carston Sanders and Lane Kelley recovering Panther fumbles.
Carlton scored his second touchdown with 9:26 remaining in the third quarter on a 31-yard reception and following Pinckneyville's third lost fumble, it took the Rangers just six plays to score their final touchdown. Andrew Dunn romped in from 11-yards out.
"When you put a second half together to go with a first half things go a lot better and that's what we had an opportunity to do that tonight," said Benton coach Bob Pankey.