University Christian tops Bolles in Showcase finale

Christians lost by 40 last year, but turn the tables with 21-14 win

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – University Christian saved the best for last. 

The Christians turned the final game of the Publix Bold City Showcase into a history maker, shocking host Bolles 21-14 on Saturday night. The teams had faced just five times since the 1990s, all Bolles victories, including a 47-7 Bulldogs rout last season. 

Not this year.

On a day that saw 21,204 fans attend the three-game Showcase that was televised live on WJXT, the Christian put a bow on the inaugural event. The Christians held strong with one minute, 32 seconds to play, forcing three incompletions and and having Joseph Carter stop a screen pass for a loss of 3.  

UC (1-0) spoiled the debut of Matt Toblin as Bolles head coach and earned a victory a long, long time in the making. It took physical defense from open to close and a home run ball from quarterback Desirrio Riles to Ja’won Grey in the closing minute of the third quarter to put the Christians in control. 

Bolles (0-1) had been sluggish much of the game, done in by a quick and punishing UC defense. Down 13-7 late in the second quarter and pinning the Christians back inside their own 11 for the second time in as many drives, Bolles looked like it was turning the corner. 

Enter UC’s Riles, a freshman. 

Facing a third-and-5, Riles (10 of 11, 162 yards) found Grey all alone on the left crease and hit him in stride. Grey did the rest, covering 86 yards. The score and two-point conversion, put UC up 21-7. 

Bolles would slice that deficit to shortly into the final quarter on a 5-yard touchdown run by Caden Fordham, but the Bulldogs had no luck the rest of the way. 

REPLAY: University Christian at Bolles
GALLERY: Bold City Showcase images

The Christians score first in the second half. Desirrio Riles finds his receiver Ja’won Grey for an 85 yard touchdown. University Christian extends its lead to 21-7 at the start of the fourth quarter.

Posted by Airstream Ventures on Saturday, August 24, 2019

University Christian 21, Bolles 14

UC, 7, 7, 8, 0 -- 21
B, 0, 7, 0, 7 -- 14

UC – Joseph Carter 2 run (Carson Hancock kick)

B – Ben Netting 12 run (Parsa Pordelli kick)

UC – Max McClendon 3 run (kick failed)

UC – Ja’Won Gray 86 pass from Desirrio Riles (Riles run)

B – Caden Fordham 5 run (Pordelli kick)

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.