Bishop Ludden's football team has three consecutive victories, but none were more important than Friday night's 28-20 victory over Tully, mainly delivered by Cory Wilkinson, whose two big plays in the third quarter turned the game in his side's favor.
As this went on, Westhill improved to 2-2 on the season, outlasting neighbor and rival Solvay 26-13, while Jordan-Elbridge, despite Colby Trexler's big effort, still took a 33-26 defeat to Phoenix.
Ludden was facing a Tully side that sported a 3-0 mark and no. 18 state Class C ranking. And the Black Knights quickly fired up its home fans when Syrrus Nash took the opening kickoff at his own 25-yard line and sprinted down the sideline, through the Gaelic Knights' coverage and 75 yards to the other end zone.
Angered by that quick score, Ludden buckled down on the defensive side, blanking the Black Knights the rest of the half. Later in the period, given new life by drawing Tully offsides on fourth down, Zach Harding then threw a 10-yard scoring pass to Malik Stenson, and Travis Cote's extra point tied it 7-7.
Again Ludden went to the air in the second quarter. From midfield, Harding went deep and found Antoine Montgomery, who dashed the rest of the way for a 51-yard TD reception that put the Gaelic Knights in front 14-7, where it stayed at halftime.
Tully appeared to regain its footing when Mike Spann scored on a 31-yard run early in the third quarter, the conversion tying it again at 14-14. But here was where Wilkinson took over.
On the ensuing kickoff, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound back received it at his own 25, got moving and, with good blocks, steamrolled 75 yards to the go-ahead score.
Back in front 21-14, Ludden saw the Black Knights pull within one on Spann's six-yard TD sprint late in the period. Just as before, Wilkinson provided the answer, getting a long kick return, and then breaking loose for a 48-yard scoring run that, with Cote's PAT, moved the margin to eight.