Eric Gray took the pitch from Lausanne Collegiate School quarterback Schyler Forest and cut left, evading two tacklers on his way to a 57-yard score in the first quarter of the Lynx’s 47-14 home win over Rosa Fort High School from Tunica, Miss., on Friday night.
The University of Michigan commit has scored plenty of touchdowns in his high school career, but this one was different. Not only would the score help the Lynx tie the Shelby County record for consecutive wins (28), but it was also his first touchdown that would have an impact on the children of St. Jude’s Hospital.
“Knowing that my touchdowns mean so much more than just points on the board, it’s really giving me the chance to save lives,” Gray said. “It’s really impactful on me.”
Using an online fundraising tool called pledgeit.org, Gray is dedicating his senior season to St. Jude’s by allowing fans to make a one-time donation or pledge a specific dollar amount for each touchdown he scores.
“One day my dad was telling me I should start thinking about a charity that I could do, and at our school, they actually require a creativity, action and service type of project. So me and the kicker, Isaac (Weiss), thought about the touchdown-for-cancer thing. He does it for his kicks, and I do it for my touchdowns, so we could really raise some good money for the St. Jude’s kids.”
Gray shared his intentions on his Twitter account Thursday, setting a lofty goal of $10,000 by the end of the season. The four-star running back said he was inspired by other athletes using their platforms for a cause.