Sophomore quarterback Keegan Glover tossed seven touchdown passes to lead Benton to a 54-0 road win over Harrisburg last Friday, improving the to up Rangers' overall record to 6-0 and to 3-0 in the SIRR Ohio Division standings.
"Our goal wasn't just to win, we wanted to make a statement," said Benton coach Justin Groves. "Offensively, we felt like we could throw the ball on them, and defensively, if we could make them throw it around, we would have a chance to shut them down."
Glover broke Tyler Leffter's 2011 record of five touchdown passes with three to Peyton Bayless and one each to Ayden Newcomb, Tyler Butler, Tre Hosick and Quinn Gajewski. Glover completed 13-of-20 passes for 223 yards with one interception.
Newcomb also scored on an interception return for the Rangers first defensive score of the season. Reid Baumgarte added two interceptions.
"Our defense is playing lights out," Groves said. "Our secondary played real well. The line on both sides upheld their part of it, which allowed our skill kids to have a good night."
The Rangers scored on their first five possessions. Benton started the opening drive at the Harrisburg 44 following a 39-yard kickoff return by Basin Davis. Five plays later on fourth-and-17 from the 19-yard line, Glover connected with Newcomb for the touchdown.
Next, the Rangers began at the Harrisburg 36, and four plays later, Glover hit Gajewski from three yards out. Benton then drove 42 yards on six plays with Hosick catching a 32-yard TD pass on 2nd-and-20.
The Rangers started the second quarter at the Benton 49 after blocking a punt. It took seven plays for Benton to score on a 7-yard touchdown pass to Bayless. Benton began the next drive on the Harrisburg 35, and five plays later, Glover found Bayless for an 11-yard touchdown pass to tie the record.
The third quarter saw touchdown passes of 21 yards to Butler on fourth-and-6 to break the record and 20 yards to Bayless following a fumble recovery by Blake Kneezle at the 20.
With six minutes left in the third quarter, Newcomb picked off a pass at the Harrisburg 35 and scored. Peyton Swigonski's pressure set up the play.
Benton was led in receiving by Newcomb, who hauled in six catches for 111 yards. Bayless caught three for 38 yards. Top rusher was Butler with 42 yards on six attempts. Glover added 20 yards rushing.
Harrisburg's leading ground gainer was Bryant Lester, who totaled 25 yards on four carries. Noah Boone added 24 yards on 10 tries. Quarterback Isaac Crabb completed 3-13 passes for 22 yards.
"Benton has a good ballclub this year and we wish them the best of luck," said Harrisburg coach Gabe Angelly.
This week, the Rangers host Massac County (2-4, 1-2 Ohio) Friday for their final regular season home game. Benton played the last two weeks on the road against Murphysboro, if the teachers' strike is settled, and against Anna-Jonesboro at The Pit.