Football defeated LaGrange JV, 37-27

Chris Lilly
Chris Lilly

ROME, Ga. -- Berry College defeated the LaGrange junior varsity team, 37-27, at the Darlington school on Sunday. Both teams are 1-1 after the contest. Click HERE for Washington Times Story

Chris Lilly scored two touchdowns--including the first six points in Viking football history--and caught four passes for 85 yards to lead the BC offense. Josh Bullock scored on a run and a reception as well. 

Lilly caught a 14-yard scoring pass from Adam Sandin (9-14, 111 yards, 2 TDs) with 9:22 left in the opening quarter to get the program's first points. Bullock tallied on a nifty end-around play with four minutes remaining in the opening period and BC led 13-0.

Sandon Mims (5-8, 89 yards) then entered the game on the Vike's next possession. His first pass was a 56-yard strike to Lilly for another touchdown. Berry led 20-0 with 10:35 left in the first half.

The route appeared to be on after Gavin Black scampered nine yards. After Campbell Harrison's PAT, The Vikings led 27-0.

The Vikings' nine other opponents are NCAA varsity programs. Scheduling a JV was meant to level the playing field for the Vikings, primarily fielding a roster of freshmen.

The plan worked brilliantly as Berry raced to a 27-0 lead in the second quarter. BC scored on its first four possessions and the Panthers did not cross midfield until their final possession of the first half.

The Panthers got on the scoreboard after Chance Britnell caught a scoring pass from Shelby Wilkes with 2:29 remaining until halftime. 

The Vikings led at halftime, 34-7, after Sandin tossed a pass that covered 40 yards to Bullock.

"I think we had our passing game down in the first half," said Berry Head Coach Tony Kunczewski. "We can see our passing game improving each practice. Plus, we wanted to see the way our offensive line would hold up, and they did well."

Yet the visiting JV team made Berry work for the win in the second half. The pesky Panthers scored the next two touchdowns of the second half. 

LC trailed 34-21 before Harrison gave BC some breathing room--and its only second half points--with a 33-yard field goal with 6:38 left in regulation.

On its next series, LaGrange put together a 65-yard drive which was stopped at the one-yard line when Zach Romp intercepted a Dominic Edney pass. 

Berry was able to get a first down--and run some time off the clock--before the last scoring drive of the game.

With 1:15 left in regulation, Wlikes completed a hail mary pass to Marcus Allen--who had twotouchdowns in the game--which covered 40 yards. The PAT made the score 37-27.

The Panthers then attempted an onside kick. Methus Weldon, part of BC's "hands team" recovered the boot. The Vikings then ran out the clock in victory formation.

"They did a great job on offense in the second half," Kuczewski said. "We also tried to get everybody in the game in the second half. You never like to get the ball thrown over your head, but that's how you learn sometimes. We are all learning in this first year."

LaGrange's three quarterbacks competed 36-48 passes (71-percent) for 365 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception.

The home team had 182 rushing yards and held the visitors to minus-16 yards on the ground. Trevor Price toted the ball nine times for 63 yards.

Anthony Batey led the Berry defense with seven tackles. He had four solo stops and 1.5 tackles for three yards lost. Matt Farinella led the unit with five solo tackles, six total stops and one sack for a six-yard loss.

Berry plays at Mercer University next Saturday at 6 p.m.