In a cross-town showdown, Grace Community scored 20 points in the fourth quarter and came up with three interceptions on "Senior Night" as the Cougars scored a 34-13 win over Bishop Gorman on Friday night at Clyde-Perkins Stadium.
The win gives the Cougars home field advantage for the playoffs next week and secures second place in TAPPS D-II District 2.
Christopher Wilhelmi carried 26 times for 170 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Coogs' offense. Wilhelmi also threw for 60 yards on 5 of 12 pass attempts. Mason Dacus finished with 96 yards on 16 attempts.
Grace improves 9-1 overall and 5-1 in district play, while the Crusaders fall to 8-2 and 4-2. TKG places third in district.
Both teams started slow offensively with punts on each of their opening drives. The Crusaders threw an interception on their next drive, however the Cougars could not capitalize turning the ball over on their second possession also.
The Cougars finally broke the scoreless tie when Wilhelmi broke a 10-yard run with 9:07 left in the second quarter. Wilhelmi was able to find the end-zone on a quarterback option keeper to the right side to give the Cougars a 6-0 lead which they would carry into halftime.
The Crusaders came out of halftime looking to work the passing game, and with 7:12 left in the third Judah Bell hauled in the Crusaders' first touchdown coming down with a jump ball in the corner of the end-zone. Daniel Schmitt added the extra point to give Bishop Gorman a 7-6 lead. Michael Goodwin tossed the ball to Bell.
The Cougars responded on their next drive going 70 yards in eight plays. Wilhelmi broke a 42-yard touchdown run, scrambling from the pass rush and punching his way in for the score with 3:38 left in the third.
Another Bishop Gorman passing touchdown from Goodwin to Martin Guzman from 69 yards out made it 14-13 in favor of the Crusaders going into the fourth quarter.
Grace scored three touchdowns in the fourth including a 1-yard run from Dacus who trucked his way through the defensive line, a 40-yard interception return for a touchdown by Blake Holbrook and a 1-yard Wilhelmi run.
Wilhelmi was able to mislead the defense, stutter-stepping after receiving the snap and finding a hole on the right side of the line. The Cristian Hooper kick made it 34-13 Cougars.
Parker Ary snagged an acrobatic interception on the ensuing Crusaders drive to seal the victory for the Cougars.
Defensively for Grace Community Jared Gilley (2), Luke Graham, (2), Hooper (2), Blake Holbrook, Caleb Wadle and Josh Spitzer each recorded tackles for loss. Spitzer, Holbrook and Ary intercepted passes, and Gilley had a quarterback sack and a forced fumble.
Goodwin carried 16 times for the Crusaders offense, totaling 79 yards. Goodwin was 12 of 20 passing, throwing for 166 yards and two touchdowns.
Guzman, Reed Navara (3), Tyler Bate (2) and Sean-Riley Cunningham had tackles behind the line for the Crusaders' defense. Payton Fanning intercepted a Cougar pass inside the red zone.
Grace Community 34, Bishop Gorman 13
At Clyde-Perkins Stadium
T.K. Gorman 0 0 13 0 – 13
Grace 0 6 8 20 – 34
GC- Christopher Wilhelmi 10 run (kick fail), 9:07.
BG- Judah Bell 10 pass from Michael Goodwin (Daniel Schmitt kick good), 7:12.
GC- Wilhelmi 42 run (Mason Dacus from Wilhelmi 2 pt. pass), 3:38.
BG- Martin Guzman 69 pass from Goodwin (2 pt. run fail), 2:45.
GC- Dacus 1 run (kick fail), 8:33.
GC- Blake Holbrook interception returned for touchdown, (Cristian Hooper kick good), 7:41.
GC- Wilhelmi 1 run (Hooper kick good), 2:26.