BULLARD - Grace Community junior quarterback Christopher Wilhelmi passed for two touchdowns and helped on another to lead the Cougars past Bullard Brook Hill 31-21 Friday at Herrington Stadium.
The Cougars moved to 5-1 overall and 2-1 in TAPPS D-II District 2 while the Guard dropped to 2-4 (1-2).
Wilhelmi finished with 209 yards passing and 83 rushing. Both of his scoring passes went to Matthew Harris, the first for 34 yards and another one for 28 yards.
“We were all really excited about this game,” Wilhelmi said. “We were focused and motivated to come out here. As a team, offense and defense, everybody played well tonight.”
Wilhelmi also had an 11-yard pass - that ended up a touchdown thanks to an assist from Parker Ary. Grace had taken possession just seconds after Brook Hill had scored to pull within a touchdown late in the first half. Wilhelmi took the snap and rifled a quick pass to Ary.
Just as he was about to be tackled for an 11-yard gain, Ary tossed the ball back to onrushing Mason Dacus. The senior tailback then took it 53 yards to complete the hook-and-lateral touchdown.
“It was just a great call by coach and it’s a play that we love,” Wilhelmi said of the play. “Ary had a great catch and (pitch) and Mason Dacus was able to just outrun everybody else.”
Dacus finished with 12 carries for 102 yards and two scores.
Brook Hill senior quarterback McCray Fletcher, days after accepting the American State Bank Player of the Week award for last week, completed 26 of 41 for 328 yards and three touchdowns. Ryan Cox led the Guard with 10 catches for 84 yards and two scores while Seth Brasher finished with 9 receptions for 135 yards and a touchdown.
Grace led 24-14 at halftime.
Brook Hill pushed down to the Grace 10, but on third down, Fletcher’s pass was incomplete. The Guard tried to salvage things with a field goal, but it went wide, one of two missed kicks for Brook Hill in the game.
Grace then put the game away with an 8-play 80-yard scoring drive that was capped on a Dacus TD run.
The Guard got in the end zone in the final minute on a 7-yard TD pass to Brasher, but Grace recovered the onside kick to seal its victory.
Grace capitalized on a moment of confusion to score the game’s first points. The Cougars faced a fourth down when an official timeout was called and a discussion took place. The ball was then moved forward 4 yards and the down marker was changed to third and not fourth down. As Brook Hill defenders scrambled to adjust to the new development, Wilhelmi took the snap, rolled out to his right, and connected with an uncovered Harris for a 34-yard touchdown. The PAT by Cristian Hooper made it 7-0.
The Cougars doubled their lead midway through the second quarter when Wilhelmi scrambled to buy enough time for Harris to get open. Wilhelmi fired a pass into Harris and the junior did the rest for a 28-yard catch and run touchdown and 14-0 lead with 6:24 left in the half.
Brook Hill answered with 8-play 80-yard drive that was capped by a 15-yard TD pass from Fletcher to Cox. Caleb Chadwell’s PAT made it 14-7 with 1:59 remaining.
The Cougars were not done and needed one play to find the end zone again. Wilhelmi rifled an 11-yard pass into Harris, who then lateraled to Mason Dacus for a hook-and-ladder touchdown covering 64 yards.
The scoring continued as the Guard needed two big pass plays of their own to respond. Fletcher hooked up with Seth Brasher for a 32-yard catch and run followed by a 13-yard touchdown to Cox, who was able to get a foot down in the back of the end zone before being shoved out. Chadwell’s PAT made it 21-14 with 43 seconds remaining.
Wilhelmi and Grace weren’t finished. The junior connected on passes of 19 and 20 yards to Parker Ary to get the Cougars in range of Hooper, who blasted a 33-yard field goal on the final play to give Grace a 24-14 lead at halftime.