Gray Collegiate wins region opener 42-6
Thursday’s Region 3-2A opener for Gray Collegiate at newly-furbished Memorial Stadium potentially looked like a “trap” game.
The War Eagles were coming off the program’s biggest win six days earlier when they defeated Class A champion Lamar. It was the Silver Foxes’ first home loss in five years and snapped a 18-game winning streak.
Instead of a letdown, Gray Collegiate took care of business against Columbia. Jumping out to a 35-0 lead, the War Eagles rolled to a 42-6 win to claim a share of first place in the region.
“We come off a big win like we did against Lamar, you wonder how our guys were going to respond,” Gray Collegiate head coach Adam Holmes said. “We had pretty good practice, but our guys understood what’s on the line tonight and I think tonight, they went out and showed it.”
K.Z. Adams scored the first two touchdowns from Gray Collegiate (3-4, 1-0) in the first quarter. He had a 6-yard scoring run on the game’s opening drive and followed with a 24-yard touchdown run nearly four minutes later.
After a 75-yard touchdown run by Julian Jackson was nullified by a penalty, the War Eagles needed eight plays to make it 21-0. Quarterback Hunter Helms found Kyzer Samuel open in the endzone for a 24-yard touchdown, the first of two scores between them.
With 1:42 left in the second quarter, Gray Collegiate’s Armani Williams returned a Capitals’ fumble 46 yards to make it 28-0 going into halftime.
Columbia scored its only touchdown to open the second half, but failed on the 2-point conversion. Gray Collegiate answered with 7:27 left in the third quarter with a 42-yard touchdown pass by Helms to Samuel.
The game’s final score came with 1:57 left in the fourth quarter on a 11-yard jet sweep pass from Helms to Josh Doctor.
Helms finished with 322 passing yards.
After the final buzzer, Gray Collegiate turned its attention to its next opponent and Region 3-2A co-leader Calhoun County.
The game is set for Oct. 12 in St. Matthews, located 15 minutes away from Holmes’ previous head coaching job at Orangeburg Prep.
“(Calhoun County) has a region win,” he said. “They won last week (defeating Eau Claire 28-14) and they’ve got some wins. They beat Pelion who beat Columbia.
“I haven’t really seen them yet on film. I know they’re a little different on offense now with Coach (Wayne) Farmer there. I think they’re 3-3, so they’ve got some wins under their belt. So, they’re playing with a little bit of confidence. But, we’ve just got to go out and do our job, find out what they do, where we can attack them offensively, defensively and just be better as a team.”