Wesley notebook: Bruhn making clutch kicks for Wolverines

Wesley’s Nick Bruhn has made his last 24 PAT kicks and four straight field-goal attempts. And some of those kicks have been big ones. (Wesley sports information photo)

DOVER — Nick Bruhn still remembers the game he’d like to forget.

The Wesley College sophomore kicker not only missed a field-goal attempt in a win over the College of New Jersey but was off target on a pair of extra-point kicks as well.

After one of the missed PATs, Wolverines coach Mike Drass approached Bruhn.

Nick Bruhn

“I was pretty down about it,” said Bruhn. “He (Drass) came up to me and was just like, ‘You’re our kicker and I believe in you.’

“I went to practice and I started thinking, ‘You know, I really need to believe in myself.’ I think that’s the biggest thing. When I’m on the field, I need to believe in myself.”

That rough game has turned out to be a turning point for Bruhn.

With the No. 14 Wolverines (5-0 NJAC, 5-1 overall) hosting Rowan (2-3, 3-3) on Saturday at 1 p.m. in a New Jersey Athletic Conference matchup, Bruhn is on a pretty good roll.

He’s made his last 24 PAT kicks and four straight field-goal attempts. And some of those kicks have been big ones.

In the Wolverines’ 27-24 upset of higher-ranked Frostburg State two weeks ago, Bruhn hit a 26-yarder with 4:45 left in regulation to knot the score before making one from 35 yards to win it in overtime.

Bruhn said he just tried to not make too much of the pressure, game-winning kick.

“To me, it was just like any other kick,” he explained. “I can’t go out there thinking, if I miss this, we’re going to lose, or anything like that.

“It was a big moment. When I kicked it and made it, I was like, ‘OK, they’ve got to score or they’ve got to kick a field goal, too. Either way, it was a breeze kick.”

After Bruhn’s field goal, Wesley blocked Frostburg State’s OT field-goal attempt to capture the victory.

Then, in Wesley’s 29-9 victory over Kean last Saturday, Bruhn nailed a field goal from 40 yards and then a career-high 46-yarder. The kicks helped earn Bruhn his second-straight NJAC Special Teams Player of the Week award.

Bruhn is also tied for the league lead in field goals made (7-of-9).

The 46-yard kick came with Wesley facing a fourth-and-25. It was also just one yard shy of the school record that Eric Speidel set last year.

“What are your options?” Drass said about the situation. “We can go for a fourth-and-25 or he has a leg that’s strong enough to hit that. So we go for the 46-yard field goal. It would have been good from 56.

“I think he really felt it, too. When he hit that, his teammates were really excited. That’s the kind of stuff, with a kicker, that gives them all the confidence in the world. In Division III, that’s a good kick.”

“I feel a lot better from the start of the season,” said Bruhn.

Williams makes switch

When Coray Williams saw the pass get tipped up in the air last Saturday, he knew he had a shot at it.

But first the Wesley strong safety had to wait for the ball to land.

While Coray Williams still has a lot to learn, the 6-foot-2, 205-pounder adds a lot to Wesley’s defense just with his physical presence. He also runs a 4.7-second 40. (Wesley sports information photo)

“It felt like forever when it was coming down,” said Williams. “I was like, ‘I’ve just got to catch this ball.’

“On the sidelines, they (Williams’ teammates) were real happy. They were saying, ‘It’s about time you got one.”

Actually, Williams has hardly had any time to make a big defensive play. He only switched from wide receiver to safety last spring because the Wolverines needed more depth at the position.

After dealing with some injuries in pre-season, Williams is now rotating in at the position with veteran Greg Taylor (Sussex Central). Williams has 19 tackles, two pass breakups and a blocked kick to go with his first career interception.

While Williams still has a lot to learn, the 6-foot-2, 205-pounder adds a lot to Wesley’s defense just with his physical presence. He also runs a 4.7-second 40.

“He’s made some big, physical plays for us,” said Drass. “He’s still a work in progress. … Greg (Taylor) is bringing those guys along.”

Coray Williams

“Every week I feel like there’s something new that I’m learning,” said Williams. “I have great coaches teaching me. I have great teammates who know the system that are also helping me. I just feel that’s just making me better.

“It was like switching gears really,” said Williams, who played some cornerback in high school. “I knew what I had to do on defense. I learned from (last year’s starter) Andre Connally (in the spring). He helped me become the safety I’m becoming now.”

Extra points

Sophomore E.J. Lee is 95 yards shy of reaching 1,000 rushing yards for the season. He’s averaging 150.8 yards per game. … Cappadonna Miller has three of Wesley’s nine interceptions this season. Six players have picked off a pass this fall. … The Wolverines stayed put at No. 14 in this week’s D3football.com poll.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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