Nyema Wilson played a little too tall for Glenelg yesterday.
The 6-foot-5 senior's height and versatility led No. 8 Wilde Lake to a 28-13 victory over the Gladiators that kept alive the Wildecats' playoff and county championship hopes while damaging, but not extinguishing, Glenelg's playoff chances.
Wilson's kickoffs consistently sailed into the end zone, giving Glenelg poor field position.
The tight end caught a 12-yard touchdown pass with 40 seconds left in the second quarter that lifted the Wildecats to a 14-7 halftime lead.
And the safety barely tipped away a pass to J. T. Smart in the third quarter that otherwise would have been a go-ahead touchdown for Glenelg, which trailed 14-13 at the time.
"Their safety [Wilson] in the middle was a great player," said Glenelg quarterback Zach McQuigg, who completed 13 of 31 passes for 183 yards to fall just six yards short of the state public school career record.
"They covered J. T. [Smart] like a blanket. I didn't expect such great coverage. It was hard to see over their linemen. We played hard but the size of their line tired us out. Wilde Lake just played really well."
Wilde Lake (8-1 overall, 7-1 league) managed a 10-play, 50-yard touchdown drive on its second possession, capped by Mario Merrills 1-yard run. Merrills rushed 35 times for 136 yards and two touchdowns.
Glenelg (6-3, 5-3) retaliated on its next possession with an 11-play, 80-yard touchdown drive, ending with Chris Bowen's 28-yard TD catch at the back of the end zone on fourth down.
Wilson's go-ahead TD catch from quarterback Chad Fawcett (7-for-11, 94 yards) just before halftime capped a nine-play, 64-yard drive. Wilson ran a flag pattern and snatched the ball from behind and over top of 5-foot-7 defender Joe McDonald, who was in perfect position but was giving up 10 inches. McDonald simply could not jump high enough to knock the ball down.
"This was a huge, must-win for us," Wilson said. "I told him [Fawcett] to just throw it over top because I knew the defender was too short."
First-half injuries crippled Glenelg as all-county kicker and punter and starting cornerback Paul Brooks left the game after spraining his ankle in the second quarter. And Glenelg running back Joe Speake, who ran for 100 yards last week, also left with a suspected concussion.
After Glenelg scored the potential tying TD on a seven-play, 72-yard drive to start the third quarter, the Gladiators' second-string kicker missed the extra-point. McQuigg completed four straight passes for 67 yards on that drive.
Wilde Lake mounted a 12-play, 50-yard drive that ended with 10: 42 left in the game. Merrills scored on a 1-yard run and the Wildecats led 21-13.
On its next possession, Wilde Lake drove 60 yards on 11 plays ending with John Quinn's 3-yard TD run with 1: 33 to play.
"Injuries killed us, they controlled the ball and we couldn't get a turnover," Glenelg coach John Davis said. "We just want to win next week [against Long Reach] and hope the bonus points fall in our favor."
Mount Hebron 21, River Hill 12: Matt Fallon threw for 111 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another as the host Vikings (4-5, 4-4) knocked off the Hawks (7-2, 6-2) in a Howard County League game. Fallon's 62-yard touchdown pass put Mount Hebron ahead to stay, 14-12, in the second period.
He accounted for 195 of the Vikings' 287 total yards.
Oakland Mills 41, Hammond 13: J. T. Rembert threw touchdown passes of 68 and 12 yards and scored on a 6-yard run to lead the host Scorpions (1-8) to their first win of the season.
Landon 42, Mount St. Joseph 28: The host Gaels (6-3) erased a 28-0 deficit, but the Bears (5-2) righted themselves with two late touchdowns to escape with the victory.