JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Bolles' sixth play of Friday night's game went for 19 yards and a score, but much bigger things — and bigger gains — were in store.
The Bulldogs checked Clay's offense while cranking out several big plays of its own. Bolles had seven more first-half plays that went for more than that 19-yarder, as the Bulldogs coasted to a 41-7 homecoming victory.
It didn't take long for Bolles (6-1) to build its lead. The Bulldogs' scoring drives lasted six, two, four and six plays, in addition to a one-play scoring possession following a fumble recovery and a pick-six from Spencer Surface for Bolles' last points of the contest.
Bulldogs coach Matt Toblin said the Blue Devils tried to take away Bolles' ability to run the ball. At times, Clay (0-8) had success. But there were plenty of breakout plays allowed.
Three of the big plays came courtesy of running back Kaden Frew, who ripped off runs of 19, 42 and 34 yards, with the first two going for the opening scores of the game and the 34-yarder — which actually would have been a much longer scoring run if not for a block in the back — setting up the Bulldogs' final touchdown of the first half.
While Frew at times was stopped at the line, he had success sweeping outside and with cutbacks.
"The receivers blocked really well for me, and the line blocked really well, and I made a couple of moves to get through the line," said Frew, who rolled up 120 rushing yards without playing in the second half.
"Our coaches set up a real good offense where the plays all fit together and work good."
When the Blue Devils geared toward the run a bit too much, quarterback Ben Netting made Clay pay.
Netting hit passes of 35, 26, 42 and 24 yards, with the latter one being a scoring strike to Simon Brackin three plays after Frew's 34-yard run.
"We want to run the ball," Toblin said. "They forced us to throw, so if we have to do it, we can. It's a collective effort."
Bolles had, in all, 13 plays that went for double-digit gains. An interception from Jayden Bryan and a sack from Deklan Dougherty kept things from getting out of hand for Clay.
As the Bulldogs rolled on offense, the defense caused numerous problems for the Blue Devils. Clay had only 47 total yards and two first downs in the first half.
Caden Fordham, Hayden Schwartz and JT Jameson collected sacks for Bolles, with Fordham also recovering a fumble at the Blue Devils 1 to set up Netting's second scoring run. Avery Epstein joined Surface with an interception.
But Clay did not yield, even when Surface's interception triggered a running clock. The Blue Devils had plays of 42, 44 and 47 yards in the second half, with the last one being a Tre Griner scoring pass to Toshombee Jenkins.
Jenkins hauled the ball in at the 20, cut back inside and crossed the goal line with more than two minutes remaining in the game. As the running clock was in play, it was the contest's final offensive play.
It's been a tough run for Clay and coach Jay Stilianou. The Blue Devils' losses include defeats to Fleming Island, Flagler Palm Coast, University Christian and now the Bulldogs. Those teams are a combined 27-3. Overall, Clay's opponents have a .695 winning percentage.
A team could get discouraged easily, but Stilianou was proud of the way his group persevered.
"You can really look at the record, and they could just tap," Stilianou said. "They don't have to show up on Monday. They don't have to keep competing. What you saw at the end, that's what kind of sums up these kids. They keep trying to find a way.
"One thing I know about this team is they're going to fight. We got two more games and I can't wait to see them on Monday, see how we're getting better."
Bolles 41, Clay 7
Clay, 0, 0, 0, 7 — 7
Bolles, 13, 14, 7, 7 — 41
B – Kade Frew 19 run (pass failed)
B – Frew 42 run (Pasa Pordeli kick)
B – Ben Netting 5 run (Pordeli kick)
B – Simon Brackin 24 pass from Netting (Pordeli kick)
B – Netting 1 run (Pordeli kick)
B – Spencer Surface 25 INT return (Matthew Berry kick)
C – Toshombee Jenkins 47 pass from Tre Griner (Tucker Reape kick)
Categories: C B
First downs: 7; 13
Rushes-yards: 29-66; 37-238
Passing: 135; 155
Comp-Att-Int: 8-15-2; 7-16-1
Fumbles-lost: 2-2; 0-0
Penalties-Yards: 5-35; 4-25
RUSHING — C: Griner 10-34; Al'querious Ray 10-23; Brandon Combs 2-8; Bryson Hampton 7-1. B: Frew 14-120; Gunner Boree 1-44; Jeremiah Johnson 4-30; Azeh Kani 5-23; Netting 5-15; Landen Frazier 3-9; Tyson Riley 2-0; Andre Parker 3-(-3).
PASSING — C: Griner 8-15-2-135. B: Netting 5-10-1-137; Johnson 2-6-0-18.
RECEIVING — C: Toshombee Jenkins 4-104; Jaylin Copeland 3-26; Chris Davis 1-5. B: Gunner Boree 2-68; Caden Fordham 2-45; Brackin 1-24; Brett Stambaugh 1-13; Parker 1-5.