University Christian comes up short in Class 2A state championship game

University Christian and Champagnat Catholic battle in Wednesday's Class 2A state championship game in Tallahassee.
University Christian and Champagnat Catholic battle in Wednesday's Class 2A state championship game in Tallahassee. (News4Jax)

The drive for a 10th state championship will have to wait.

University Christian led at halftime but couldn’t hold off Hialeah Champagnat after that in a 41-27 loss in the Class 2A state championship game at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee on Wednesday afternoon.

The loss denied UC a shot to move into double figures in state championship trophies and gave Champagnat (11-2) consecutive state championships. The Lions also beat UC for the crown in 2017 in a 24-7

Orel Gray’s 10-yard touchdown with 6 minutes, 23 seconds to play pulled UC to within 34-27 and gave the Christians a shot. But the Lions erased any hope of a UC comeback with a 65-yard scoring drive on the ensuing possession, capped by a 9-yard touchdown pass from Tyous Taylor to Malik Rutherford four minutes later.

The Christians (8-5) went down 14-0 quick but recovered in a hurry with touchdown runs by Joseph Carter and Orel Gray. Gray added a two-point conversion run following his touchdown with 3 minutes, 29 seconds to play in the opening half for a 15-14 UC lead.

The Lions caught back up not long after.

Donovan Jones ripped off a 46-yard touchdown following a UC fumble and Benson Prosper had his third touchdown catch of the game three minutes later. Desirrio Riles threw a 66-yard touchdown strike to Ja’won Grey near the end of the third to get the Christians within 26-21.

Gray rushed for 126 yards on 18 carries and had two touchdowns for UC. Riles finished 11 of 17 for 178 yards and a score for the Christians.


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