University Christian lived up to its billing as one of the top programs in Florida.
Quarterback Clay Boyd ran for two touchdowns as the Christians defeated defending SCISA 3A champion Ben Lippen, 44-14, on Friday.
The victory was the Christians’ first at an out-of-state opponent since 2011, when it won on the road at North Rowan (NC), 28-15.
The loss spoiled a night of fanfare at Ben Lippen, which included the game ball delivered by helicopter and fireworks when the Falcons took the field.
The Falcons jumped out to a 10-7 lead in the first quarter on Trad Beatty’s TD pass to Ryan Bellamy. But University scored 35 consecutive points from the end of the first quarter until the third quarter.
University’s defense did a good job putting pressure on Beatty and delivered big plays on offense and special teams.
Clay Boyd: The three-year starter at quarterback rushed for 80 yards and threw for 63.
Max McLendon: Rushed for 143 yards and set up University Christian scoring drivers with big runs
3: Number of University Christian touchdowns of more than 40 yards
9: Number of state championships won by University, third most in Florida history
THEY SAID IT
“With the playoff system in Florida, every game counts for us, and this was big for us. I try to do an out-of-town trip every year and make the team bond. We came out and played hard. It was a good start to the season.” – University coach David Penland
“There is a reason why they are a national program.We didn’t give them a good game and didn’t execute. But this is going to make us a better football team.” – Ben Lippen coach Derek White
HOW THEY SCORED
UC – Safar 34 FG
BL – Fleming 6 pass from Beatty (Gee kick), 3:38
UC – Dunnigan 17 run (Safar kick)
UC – Boyd 17 run (Safar kick), 6:42
UC – Boyd 46 run (Safar kick), 2:17
UC – Uriah Ratliff 78 kickoff return (Safar kick), 11:44
UC – Stubbs 55 fumble return (kick failed), 6:20
BL – Norman 14 pass from Beatty (Gee kick)
UC – Ciresi 54 pass from Jacobs (kick failed)
Rushing: UC: Boyd 6-80, McClendon 6-143, Dunnagan 4-33, Durden 4-18. BL: Beatty 14-45, Fleming 18-85.
Passing: UC: Boyd 4-12-1 63, Jacobs 1-2 54. BL: Beatty 12-21-1 118.
Receiving: UC: Stoshak 2-14, Jones 1-32 BL: Norman 5-53, Bellamy 3-38.