BEDFORD, Ohio — Two weeks into the 2012 season, Notre Dame Cathedral Latin was winless and facing an uphill climb to get back in the Region 9 Playoff race. A month later, the Lions are now leading the North Coast League, and in good position for a trip to the Division III Playoffs.
NDCL (4-2, 3-0) throttled longtime rival Benedictine (3-3, 2-1) 44-7, Saturday, in a key NCL game at Bedford Bearcat Stadium.
NDCL opened the season with back-to-back losses to Willoughby South and Chagrin Falls, who are a combined 11-1 through six weeks. But with senior tailback Nick Evans leading the way, the Lions have found their stride, outscoring their last four opponents 203-42.
The Lions outplayed the Bengals in every facet of the game. Evans carried the load, rushing 30 times for 183 yards and three touchdowns. The Lions’ defense also chipped in, stopping Benedictine twice on fourth down in Bengals’ territory, and scoring eight points on John Voyles 68-yard fumble return touchdown, and a safety in the third quarter.
NDCL returns home next Friday, to host disappointing Walsh Jesuit, which just beat Padua for its first win of the season. The Lions final four opponents are all .500 or worse through six weeks.
Benedictine will try to regroup on the road at Lake Catholic, which has won two straight games, after dropping three in a row when quarterback Mark Baniewicz went down with an injury. The Cougars knocked the Bengals out of the D-3 Playoffs last season.
For all the final scores, plus video highlights and photo galleries from Friday and Saturday’s games, head over to the FOX-8 High School Football page.