University Christian 42, Munroe Day 0
Star of the game: After a first quarter in which his team gained just 4 yards, sophomore RB Orel Gray ignited host University Christian’s offense with three touchdowns and 171 yards rushing on 18 carries as the Christians (4-5) ended the Bobcats’ season with their first loss in a Region 1-2A play-in game that ended by continuous clock.
What’s next: UCS will host Aucilla Christian (7-2) on November 13. Game time is 7:30 p.m. Munroe Day (8-1) defeated Aucilla Christian, 45-14, on October 2.
Turning point: Although the offense shone in the second half, a key interception by Christians junior DB Mark Brown jumpstarted the team, as Brown gave life to a sluggish first half. From there, the Christians marched 69 yards on six plays, with Gray’s first TD coming with 29 seconds left in the half, on a 2-yard run.
Gray’s anatomy: Gray charged up the Christians with a pair of scores in the third quarter, with a 24-yard run at the 9:10 mark in the 3rd quarter, and a 4-yard push that followed a 57-yard scamper with 5:45 left in the same period. Gray would leave the game with a turned ankle later in the contest, but appeared to be in good spirits as he left the field after the game.
Fast facts: The Christians gave the Bobcats just one play on offense in the fourth quarter, a play that ended with Ja’won Grey’s interception. … With Orel Gray resting as a precaution, UC turned to other weapons as Desirrio Riles linked up with Jamari Fudge for a 6-yard score with 10:16 left, and freshman Alan Woods forced the continuous clock with 8:50 left behind a nine-yard TD run. … Eighth-grader Jenoa Alford’s 26-yard jet sweep for score in the final two minutes gave the Christians reserves some paycheck, and the clock was allowed to run out after that. … UC’s defense smothered Munroe Day after the Bobcats rolled up 15 plays in the first nine minutes, holding them to minus-3 yards rushing and 77 total yards for the game. … The Christians’ defense sacked Bobcat QB Xavier Gray six times – with sophomore DL Kaydrick Robinson taking a solo sack and assisting three others. … UC also had four TFLs as a team, with DE Jerome Manning bagging two of those. LBs Darius Vason and Joe Carter each had one solo sack and one solo TFL.
They said it: “That big drive killed us in the first half. Fought through it, and prevailed. Defense played outstanding all night long, and in the second half the (offensive) floodgates opened. We just challenged them at halftime. We know we’re playing ironman football, and our schedule prepared us for this. Clay, we got hit in the mouth and had to regroup. Oakleaf we played very tough, but they’re 8A, and we messed up on special teams. Baldwin, we laid an egg, and Bolles, we played tough and our guys played to the very end, and that helped us in this game. Aucilla Christian’s a young 2A school, and if we play our ball, we’ll be fine.” – University Christian coach David Penland III.
Shannon Heaton/For the Times-Union