Overcoming a 22-7 deficit early in the third quarter, the St. Benedict Bears roared back, scoring 20 of the game's final 21 points and knocking off the Confederation Chargers 27-23.
After opening a killer schedule with losses to Lo-Ellen, St. Charles and Notre Dame, the Bears have now answered with back-to-back wins, upending the Lasalle Lancers 40-13 last week.
That lopsided victory might have left St. Benedict a tad over-confident facing a Confederation crew who have beaten only the Bishop Carter Gators so far this year.
It was the Chargers, primarily on the strength of a solid running game to open the contest, who seemed in control early on. Despite heading face-first into a fierce wind, Confederation marched to the only score of the opening quarter, a seven-play drive that was capped off by a 40-yard pass-and-run play from QB Ethan Gorman to running back Tom Cousins.
Taking the pass to the outside, Cousins was sprung free following a great block from Jesse Point, with Aaron Campbell converting the first major of the game.
The Bears answered in quarter two. Following an interception by Josh Girolametto on his own 38, the defending city champs focused on the ground attack, setting the stage for a 28-yard TD scamper by Johnny Pavacic, with a Shawn Wilcox PAT knotting the game at 7-7.
Maintaining the ball over much of the final five minutes of the opening half, Confederation regained the lead courtesy of an eight-yard touchdown pass from Gorman to Jordan Villeneuve, with Campbell drilling the ensuing kickoff through the end zone to give the Chargers a 15-7 lead with 30 minutes to play.
Coming off a solid performance despite losing to Lo-Ellen last week, Confederation looked to grab control of this encounter the first time they touched the ball in the second half.
An 18-yard punt return by Josiah Walt provided outstanding field position at the St. Benedict 25, with Gorman and Villeneuve hooking up once again to bring the ball down to the one.
From there, it was Cousins who would ram his way to his second touchdown of the game, with the Chargers seemingly well on their way to evening their season record at 2-2.
The only problem was that someone forgot to inform the Bears. Needing a spark, St. Benedict received just that as Tanaka Chekwesha galloped 42 yards on the kickoff return, setting the wheels in motion for the comeback.
After a Christian Battistelli to Shawn Wilcox pass gave St. Ben's first and goal at the two, converted fullback Josh Beauchamp was called upon to plow his way to paydirt, narrowing the Confederation lead to 22-14.
After the Chargers missed a field goal from the 23-yard line, settling for a single, the Bears went back to work. On the second play from scrimmage, Battistelli salvaged a broken play and then some, racing 75 yards along the near sidelines to pull his team to within two points on the final play of the third quarter.
With the wind now at their back and momentum clearly on their side, the traditional south end powerhouse were not about to be stopped. Beauchamp picked up his second touchdown of the game, this time from the one, and despite the missed point-after attempt, the Bears were able to hold on for a 27-23 win.
Defensively, St. Benedict was led once again by linemen Troy Kingsbury and Travis Lachance, the latter recording a pair of very timely sacks. Further back, linebacker James Carlos continues to impress, displaying outstanding range in leading his team in tackles.
SDSSAA football action continues on Thursday as the high-riding Lively Hawks (3-1) face a stiff test in meeting the St. Charles College Cardinals (2-2) on the grass in New Sudbury, with the Notre-Dame Alouettes (4-0) looking to pull into a first place tie with Lo-Ellen, battling the winless Lasalle Lancers (0-4) in the late game on the turf.