By Kelli McAlhany | Dreher Contributor
A rough start to the 2019 season didn’t get any better when Dreher fell to Gray Collegiate 56-7 on Friday night at Memorial Stadium.
The Blue Devils moved the ball just inside Gray’s side of the 50 after the opening kickoff, but were unable to convert on fourth down. Enter Gray’s offense.
Hunter Helms threw for 415 yards with 5 touchdowns on night, his third straight 400-yard game. Helms began the evening with a 72-yard pitch and catch with Omarion Dollison. Dollison weaved his way to pay dirt with 9:48 left in the first quarter.
Dreher attempted to establish a consistent running game by continually feeding their workhorse, running back David Epps. Epps struggled, forcing the Blue Devils to go to their passing game which also failed to establish any sort of consistency.
KZ Adams quickly made Dreher pay for their offensive futility, returning a Dreher punt 65 yards to set up a 6-yard rushing touchdown for Adams on the next play.
Gray wasted no time going back to work on their next possession, connecting on a pass for an 80-yard touchdown from Helms to Trenton Higgins to give Gray the 21-0 advantage.
Dreher broke through with 11:00 remaining in the second quarter when Micaiah Settles found the end zone on 6-yard rushing touchdown to close the gap to 21-7.
Helms connected with Higgins two minutes later, this time on a 63-yard touchdown to put Gray ahead 28-7. The pair connected for a third score just three minutes later, when Higgins took a swing pass 64 yard for this third receiving touchdown of the game. Dollison finished with five receptions for 209 yards and three touchdowns.
Nykeem Smith added a 17-yard touchdown reception to give Gray a 42-7 lead heading into halftime. Gray found the end zone on 6 of 9 possessions in the first half, while Dreher countered with 1 touchdown in 10 possessions.
Gray added two touchdowns in the second half, primarily playing with backups. Helms sat for the fourth quarter for freshman Tanner Staton.
Dreher’s youth and lack of consistency did not allow them to keep up with one of the midlands most dynamic offenses. The Blue Devils will try to get on track offensively next week when they travel to face 2A Eau Claire.
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