Mathew McCarthy, Record staff
Resurrection's Brady Grosz gets a punt off before St. Benedict's Riley Forbes can make the stop.
That was one gutsy performance by the Resurrection Phoenix.
The shorthanded Phoenix, with just 19 players dressed for a District 8 football semifinal game, pushed the St. Benedict Saints to the limit in a back-and-forth affair that ended in a 15-12 victory for the Saints.
The Phoenix turned to Brady Grosz to handle the offence and he did an admirable job filling in for Jake Bilitz, who didn't dress Tuesday. Grosz primarily handed off the ball to a running back or tucked the ball and took off himself. London Dawson also took several snaps and ran for a number of impressive gains.
The tough-as-nails Dawson twice left the game with what he thought was a dislocated shoulder and twice returned after popping it back into place.
Two-way player Keegan Vanderpool was also a force for Resurrection and threw one of the hardest hits you'll ever see while playing defence. The hit was ruled a penalty on a borderline call but it was indicative of the way Resurrection played on the afternoon.
Their season is over but the Phoenix didn't go down easy.
The Saints advance to the District 8 final against the St. David Celtics with the game scheduled for 7 p.m. at Warrior Field.
The District 8 junior final is a 5 p.m. start at the same venue and will feature Resurrection against the St. Mary's Eagles.
St. Mary's scored a 44-7 win over St. Benedict in Tuesday's junior semifinal, with Matt Weber, Calvin Ziegler, Nasir Morgan, Noah Williams and Jamia Umogo-Kana all scoring touchdowns for the visitors.
Resurrection won both regular-season meetings with St. Mary's -- 23-18 and 30-14.
WCSSAA playoff qualifying games will be contested Thursday in girls basketball and boys volleyball.
The schedules are as follows, with the winners moving on to quarter-final games Tuesday.
Bluevale (12) at SJAM (5), 3:15 p.m.
WCI (11) at Forest Heights (6), 3:15 p.m.
Preston (10) at Elmira (7), 3:15 p.m.
Cameron Heights (9) at Glenview Park (8), 3:15 p.m.
Galt (12) at Glenview Park (5), 3:15 p.m.
Waterloo-Oxford (11) at KCI (6), 3:15 p.m.
Huron Heights (10) at SJAM (7), 3:15 p.m.
Grand River (9) at Cameron Heights (8), 5 p.m.
Glenview Park (12) at WCI (5), 4:45 p.m.
Huron Heights (11) at Cameron Heights (6), 3:15 p.m.
Bluevale (10) at Elmira (7), 3:15 p.m.
Grand River (9) at Jacob Hespeler (8), 3:15 p.m.
Glenview Park (12) at WCI (5), 3:15 p.m.
Bluevale (11) at Grand River (6), 3:15 p.m.
Cameron Heights (10) at Galt (7), 3:15 p.m.
Preston (9) at Huron Heights (8), 3:15 p.m.