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University Christian denied 3-peat, falls 24-7 to Champagnat

Christians in rematch with Lions for Florida 2A championship

Jalen Dunnigan's catch-and-run for University Christian's first touchdown in 2017 2A championship game.
Jalen Dunnigan's catch-and-run for University Christian's first touchdown in 2017 2A championship game.

ORLANDO, Fla. – In a rematch of last year's 2A state championship game, University Christian fell to Champagnat Catholic 24-7, marking just the second time in 11 tries that the Christians lost in a state final.

University Christian (10-3), who won last year's matchup 24-8, was attempting to become just the second team in Florida history to win at least 10 state championships. Bolles has won 11 state titles. 

Early on, it looked good for UC. Late in the first quarter, quarterback Clayton Boyd connected with Jalen Dunnigan on a 23-yard pass for the game's first score. Champagnat (9-2) responded with two second quarter touchdowns. The first, a three yard run by Calvin Montgomery that closed out a 10 play drive. Then, with less than a minute to play before halftime, Donovan Georges scored on a one yard run that capped an 11 play drive that started at the Lions' own 7-yard-line. 

Champagnat stretched the lead to 17-1 on a 36 yard Daryn Duke Jones field goal with 5:00 left in the game. Then with 2:11 to play, the Lions put the game away when quarterback Desjuan Kearse connected with sophomore wide receiver Marc Britt on a 36-yard touchdown pass. 

UC's loss leaves the 904 area code 1-1 in state title games this year. On Thursday, Raines became the first Duval County public school in 20 years to win a state football title. Baker County plays Plantation American Heritage at 3 p.m. Friday and Bartram Trail takes on Venice at 3 p.m. Saturday.