The Champagnat Catholic Lions celebrate their second straight FHSAAA Class 2A State Championship and four state championship overall in school history on Wed, Dec. 16, 2020 at Bobby Bowden Field at Doak S. Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla. [Joshua Wilson/FloridaHSFootball.com]

The Champagnat Lions (11-2) are your FHSAA 2A State Champions, topping University Christian (8-5), 41-27.

This game basically came down to two things: lots of scoring and lots of fumbles.

Champagnat came in the more talented team. In fact, the Lions are sending four players off to college with full-ride scholarships. But, University Christian really did hold its own, despite the final score.

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Game Recap

The Lions scored on the first two drives. QB Tyous Taylor found WR Benson Prosper for both touchdowns.

However, the Christians fought back hard. University Christian led Champagnat at the end of the first half, 15-14, thanks to a 2-point conversion.

But, the Champagnat Lions were not to be forgotten. They came out swinging after the half with the same ferociousness they began the game with. Two more touchdowns on two more drives put them back up.

Usually, once the better team gets going, the other team falters — that was absolutely not the case here. Once again, the Christians found the endzone to get back in the game.

Suddenly, the score is 26-21. Then, the trajectory starts to shift once Lions focus on three-star Georgia Tech signee, WR Malik Rutherford.

First, Champagnat gets to a 34-21 lead on this bomb to Rutherford.

Next, the Lions’ defense locks in and pushes the Christians back, back, and back again. However, University Christian’s Orel Grey managed a final score for his school.

But, Rutherford called the ballgame on this OBJ-Esque catch.

In conclusion, this game was exciting, and University Christian looked impressive. However, talent wins games.

Quotes

Champagnat Lions Head Coach, Hector Clavijo

  • “We have so much talent; we’re a big-play offense. Defensively, that’s the most points we’ve given up in awhile (27)… We fumbled twice all season, and we fumbled three times today. It was uncharacteristic for us.”
  • “[This game] was a challenge. We were practicing 20 miles from campus, we weren’t in our own city, it’s further away… we fought through all the adversity.”

University Christian Head Coach, David Penland III:

  • “We knew we were going to be outnumbered. They have 60 players, we have 40. We have 15 guys going both ways, they have 11-on-11-off. We’ve dealt with that all year long… I love this team to death. They’ve come a long way since the first game of the season.”
  • “They have a pretty stout offense. They move a lot of guys around. We just ran out of time. We can up a bit short.”

Players of the Game

Champagnat quarterback Tyous Taylor went 18-of-23 for 246 yards and four touchdowns. Next up, running back Donovan Jones racked up 106 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Benson Prosper amassed 142 yards of scrimmage plus three touchdowns and 81 yards. Lastly, Malik Rutherford tallied 81 yards of scrimmage and two touchdowns. Additionally, receiver Keshawn Brown totaled 79 scrimmage yards.

University Christian quarterback Desirrio Riles went 11-of-17 for 178 yards and a touchdown. Next up for the Christians, running back Joe Carter rushed for 89 yards and added 22 receiving yards. However, Orel Gray stole the show at feature back: 126 rushing yards and two touchdowns, plus 50 receiving yards. Additionally, Ja’won Grey added a 66-yard touchdown pass, plus eight more receiving yards.

College Moves

Today is Early National Signing Day. So, let’s get into it: Kicker Andres Borregales signed with Miami, Rutherford signed with Georgia Tech, APB Donovan Jones signed with Gardner-Webb and OLB Deondrick Speight signed with UConn.