Cadets rally in fourth quar­ter to up­end Cougars

Bene­dic­tine scores 28 unan­swered points in 5 min­utes

Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend - - 804VARSITY - BY ARTHUR UTLEY

The Col­le­giate and Bene­dic­tine foot­ball teams en­tered their Fri­day af­ter­noon en­counter on los­ing streaks: two games for the vis­it­ing Cadets and three for the Cougars.

The last time the teams met was in the VISAA Di­vi­sion I state cham­pi­onship game in 2016.

The Cougars won. Fri­day was the first time the teams have met in the reg­u­lar sea­son since 2015.

A stun­ning re­ver­sal of for­tune in the fourth quar­ter pro­pelled Bene­dic­tine to a 38-35 vic­tory and kept the Cadets (3-2) in this year’s play­off pic­ture.

The Cadets, trail­ing 27-10 go­ing into the fourth quar­ter, scored 28 unan­swered points in a fiveminute stretch to go ahead 38-27 with 4:10 left in the game.

“An­drew Puc­cinelli made some plays; Col­le­giate made some mis­takes; we got some breaks. The past two weeks and three quar­ters we didn’t re­ally get a whole lot of breaks; we weren’t mak­ing a whole lot of breaks for our­selves ei­ther, but we got a cou­ple and took ad­van­tage of them,” Bene­dic­tine coach Greg Lilly said.

Puc­cinelli, a se­nior who shares quar­ter­back du­ties with sopho­more Jay Wool­folk, threw touch­down passes of 31 and 24 yards to Painter Richard­sBaker and 32 yards to Dil­lon Ten­nyson in the fourth quar­ter. He fin­ished the game with 12 com­ple­tions on 19 at­tempts for 173 yards.

“It was re­ally crazy,” Puc­cinelli said of the come­back.

“I wasn’t re­ally think­ing about any­thing at the mo­ment, I was just try­ing to put some points on the board and get the team back into the game.

“Every­one was look­ing at me. I looked into the line­men’s eyes and told them we need this, and we all put it to­gether.

“The routes were there, but it was also the O-line­men. They did a great job and gave me a bunch of time.”

Each start­ing quar­ter­back — Wool­folk on the open­ing pos­ses­sion and Nigel Wil­liams of Col­le­giate on the en­su­ing pos­ses­sion — threw in­ter­cep­tions. Thomas Lucy claimed Wool­folk’s.

Josh Shaw’s in­ter­cep­tion of Wil­liams led to 27-yard field goal by Kyle Miller, and Ste­vie Walden’s 1-yard dive and Miller’s ex­tra point put the Cadets up 10-0 at the 8:37 mark of the sec­ond quar­ter.

The span from there un­til 2:49 re­mained in the third quar­ter be­longed to Col­le­giate (2-4). Wil­liams (16 car­ries, 127 yards) darted and juked his way to touch­down runs of 1, 12 and 16 yards. Charles Arm­strong scored from 3 yards out and Lew Rice kicked his third ex­tra point to put the Cougars in front 27-10.

The Cougars led 13-10 at half­time. Bene­dic­tine ran one play that ended with a fum­ble (re­cov­ered by Austin King) in the third quar­ter.

“I think the as­sis­tant coaches did a good job of keep­ing the kids up on the side­lines, and I think our se­niors did a good job. Cole Si­mon, Tre Akande, Char­lie Gar­bett, D’An­dre To­bias, those kids on the side­lines kept kids up­beat and into it and didn’t start point­ing fin­gers when we were turn­ing the ball over and things like that,” Lilly said.

The Cougars’ fi­nal touch­down came in near dark­ness on an 18-yard pass from Wil­liams (1322-174-1) to K.J. Rodgers with :04 left in the game.

DAN CURRIER

Col­le­giate’s Michael Brost tack­les Bene­dic­tine’s Jay Wool­folk in the first half of Fri­day’s game at Col­le­giate. The Cougars won 38-35.

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