Gray Collegiate’s historic season ends with second-round loss
A school-record for victories and a first-ever berth into the third round of the Class 2A playoffs awaited Gray Collegiate Friday night at Charlie W. Johnson Stadium.
Instead, the War Eagles ran into a defensive buzzsaw in the form of defending Lower State champion Bamberg-Ehrhardt. The Red Raiders defeated Gray Collegiate 56-22 to end their season.
In snapping Gray Collegiate’s 6-game winning streak, Bamberg-Ehrhardt (10-1) scored 28 points off three interceptions of quarterback Hunter Helms, all returned for touchdowns, and a blocked punt in the first half.
Bamberg-Ehrhardt took a 21-0 before the War Eagles’ offense stepped on the field. A.J. Williams had the first of his four touchdowns and one of two interception returns for a touchdown to put the Red Raiders on the board.
After Gray Collegiate was forced to punt on its next possession, Bamberg-Ehrhardt’s T.J. Inabinet blocked the punt and returned it for a score.
The War Eagles’ third posession ended with DeShawn Gray picking off Hunt and returning it for the score.
Gray Collegiate finally got on the board on a 2-yard touchdown run by K.Z. Adams. The War Eagles’ faked the extra punt and Helms threw a pass Kelvon Robinson in the endzone for the 2-point conversion.
Bamberg-Erhhardt answered with a scoring drive in the second quarter capped by a fourth down scoring run by KeSean Brown to make it 28-8. Gray Collegiate responded with a 54-yard bomb to Jack Wood to cut the deficit to 28-15.
The Red Raiders proceeded to score 28 unanswered points the rest of the way. It started with a 28-yard touchdown pass by Williams to Dahlil Wilkins, followed by Williams’ second INT return TD to close the first half.
Williams opened the second half with a 60-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Dashanti Banks. They closed out the scoring run with a touchdown run to go up 56-15.
With 4:20 left in the fourth quarter, Gray Collegiate’s Helms found Nakeem Smith for a 12-yard touchdown to close out the scoring.
The War Eagles finish the season with a school-best 7-5 record.