MEMPHIS – The USJ Bruins fell 35-14 Friday night to the St. George’s Gryphons in a battle for the Division II-A West district title.
The Gryphons’ talented offense racked up 578 yards in the victory, led by Chase Hayden’s 270 yards on the ground and quarterback Ben Glass’ 205 yards through the air.
The Bruins (7-3, 3-1) moved the ball at times, but they had a difficult time getting key conversions and stops when they needed to.
USJ head coach Mickey Marley accepted responsibility for the loss after the game.
“That goes on me as the head coach,” he said. “We just didn’t get it done, which means I didn’t get it done for them. Our kids played hard, and we’re gonna try to get it done this week.”
The USJ defense made its presence felt on the first play of the game when a bad Gryphon snap was recovered by the Bruins in the end zone for an early 7-0 lead.
However, the Gryphons’ offense got going in the second quarter with three long touchdown plays.
Hayden broke off a 45-yard run for a score, and Glass added touchdown passes of 49 and 83 yards to put St. George’s up 21-7 at the half.
USJ appeared to make some solid halftime adjustments, coming out in the third quarter with a 73-yard scoring drive that was capped off by a three-yard Mitchell Bodiford run to cut the lead to 21-14.
The Bruins appeared to be on the verge of tying the game midway through the third quarter, but a USJ fumble on the Gryphons’ six-yard line kept them out of the end zone.
St. George’s responded with a 94-yard scoring drive that ended with a 20-yard Glass TD run to go back up 28-14.
On their next drive, USJ again drove inside the Gryphons’ ten-yard line, but the Bruins turned the ball over on downs at the four.
Once again, Hayden ripped off a big touchdown run for the Gryphons, scoring from 49 yards out to put the game out of reach for the Bruins.