Duval Sports

2015 Year In Review: “O”….. “Howe” Sweet It Is!!!

Otis Anderson  (“O”) and Hussein Howe (Hot) led University Christian(Jacksonville) to a 61-16 victory over Cambridge (Tampa) on Friday, to win the FHSAA Class 2A State Tilte. For Head Coach David Penland and his U.C Christians, its their second title in four years cementing a great run by the senior class.

Senior Hussein Howe , who was just a freshman when U.C won it all in 2012, has been the catalyst for this team. He has led them on the ground and on defense a feat many prospects in this era are not asked to do. He did that and more on Friday afternoon.IMG_5536 (800x533) Howe rushed 22 times for 191 yards and 5 touchdowns. He also led the team in tackles with 9, tackles for loss with 4, and contributed a sack on the day. You couldn’t have scripted it better for Howe if it were a hollywood movie. He began the scoring on the afternoon with an 8 yard touchdown run that was set up by the U.C fumble recovery by Michael Marshall. Howe would get into the endzone again with a touchdown run of 8 yards. The run was again set up by the opportunistic Christians defense that recovered another Cambridge fumble. This time by their star tailback Andrew Cunningham.

For Cambridge, it was the worst start imaginable for a Cinderella team that had never been to the state playoffs before. Their top two offensive weapons QB #2 Jaylen Jackson and Cunningham coughed up the football on consecutive drives. IMG_5510 (800x533)Jackson had it considerably rough. Down 14-0 early he was forced to pass against a swarming pass rush. His pass was intercepted by DB SaunPaul Nobles  of U.C.

They then commenced a nine play drive culminating in Howe’s third touchdown of the day, this one from 18 yards out. It was 21-3 in the first quarter thanks to a Jacob Enns field goal that got Cambridge on the board at the end of the 2nd quarter. But the route was already on.

In the second quarter, Coach Penland unleashed Otis Anderson. Anderson scored from 4 yards out in the second to put his team up 28-3.IMG_5520 (800x533) Anderson showed incredible quickness and speed in the game, hitting the outside and turning the corner of the Lancer defense. He would put this speed on display in the third quarter with a 43 yard touchdown run. He would finish the game with 107 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns.  QB Clay Boyd got in on the scoring action in the game at the end with touchdown runs in the third quarter and fourth quarters. It was the icing on the cake for U.C as they tasted the sweetness of victory.

Cambridge’s Caleb Young had an incredible 64 yard touchdown run to provide a pinch of excitement to the Lancer crowd, however it wasn’t nearly enough to overcome the 45 point deficit. UCThe old saying “defense wins championships”  proved true in this contest.

#5 SaunPaul Nobles had an excellent game  intercepting Jackson twice in the game. His second was a back breaker that sucked the life out of the impressive showing of Cambridge fans that made the trip to Orlando. #8 Titus Curry was a key contributor on defense with 7 tackles. #3 Rachaun Mitchell added 5 tackles. # 25 Uriah Ratliff punished the Lancer line getting two tackles for loss in the game. # 7 D.J Stubbs made several plays and  #11 Ryan Brooks had 1.5 sacks combined with two tackles for loss capping an all around defensive effort Saturday.

” Being in our district I wanted to schedule some games that were tough. We wanted travel games. We started the season in Tallahassee, went to Fort White a hostile environment, Dixie County a hostile environment, so I wanted to be able to travel” – Coach David Penland III

Andrew Cunningham & Jaylen Jackson look on as Hussein Howe runs for his 5th touchdown

Andrew Cunningham & Jaylen Jackson look on as Hussein Howe runs for his 5th touchdown

 

The road to the championship wasn’t nearly as tough as their regular season. With Dixie County, Trinity Christian and Brentwood on their schedule, they were truly battle tested when it came to the playoffs. It was the ingredients for success that Coach Penland envisioned for his team last year, and the recipe turned out  perfect at the end of this season.

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Congratulations to the University Christians, the FHSAA Class 2A State Champions!

Check out the photo Gallery of the championship below

. Click the link: UC Championship Photo Gallery

 

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