Wake Christian remained perfect on the season Friday night as the Bulldogs routed longtime nemesis Harrells Christian 42-0 to improve their record to 6-0 overall and 1-0 in the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association’s Big East Conference.
Nathaniel Williams threw for 134 yards and three touchdown passes, Connor Collins added two rushing scores and the Bulldogs defense stymied the vaunted Crusaders rushing attack.
The Bulldogs jumped on Harrells Christian (3-4, 0-1) early, taking a 20-0 lead by the end of the first quarter, capitalizing on a pair of fumbled kickoffs that set up Wake Christian in Crusaders territory for short scoring drives.
Williams found Robert Roe and Paul Gore on touchdown passes of 24 and 28 yards, respectively, before connecting with Connor Gecewicz later in the third quarter.
“We were very fortunate on a couple of the kickoffs; we planted them right between them and it just worked out,” said Wake Christian coach Stephen Cochran. “Tonight, the ball bounced our way there and certainly sparked us.”
It was just Wake Christian’s third win over the Crusaders in 13 games but the Bulldogs’ second victory over Harrells Christian in three years.
With all the offensive production Wake Christian found in the opening half, it was a defensive stand at the end of the half that helped keep the momentum fully on the side of the Bulldogs.
After the Crusaders earned a first-and-10 on the Bulldogs 21-yard line, Harrells Christian went to the air and Wake Christian’s Paul Gore came up with two big pass breakups in the end zone to hold the Crusaders scoreless through the first half.
THEY SAID IT
Connor Collins not only racked up a pair of running touchdowns but was key on the defensive side of the ball in recording the Bulldogs’ second shutout of the season.
“It means a lot to shut them out and put 42 on them,” Connor Collins said. “Our defense held it together when they were down there a couple times close to the goal line. They’re a good team that executes their offense well and we were very good at stopping them.”
THREE TO KNOW
Nathaniel Williams, Wake Christian: The junior quarterback led the Bulldogs attack early on, tossing three touchdown passes to lead the Wake Christian aerial assault.
Connor Collins, Wake Christian: The Bulldogs’ fullback didn’t get the call too often but made it count when he did, finding the end zone on each of his first two touches from 11 and six yards out. At linebacker, Collins helped to stuff the Crusaders’ ground game, getting his name called numerous times for tackles.
Tyshii Scarborough, Harrells Christian: Scarborough led the Crusaders with 74 yards rushing.
BY THE NUMBERS
11: Harrells Christian penalties that cost the Crusaders 102 yards.
4: Wake Christian possessions that started in Crusaders territory.
16: Wake Christian first downs.
80: Yards traveled by the Bulldogs’ Trevon Muse on his kickoff return for a touchdown that opened up the second half.
158: Yards rushing for Harrells Christian on 42 carries.
Wake Christian will travel to square off against conference rival Ravenscroft next week in a pivotal game in the Big East. The Bulldogs haven’t beaten the Ravens since 1985.