URBANA, Ohio - Urbana's football season came to an end Saturday against third-ranked Shepherd as the Blue Knights fell 38-14 in front of a crowd of 1,058 inside UU Stadium.
Urbana (3-8, 2-8 MEC) finished the 2016 campaign one win better than last year and one of three MEC teams with three wins. Shepherd (10-0, 10-0 MEC) remained unbeaten as the conference champs prepare for another postseason run.
Shepherd scored 10 unanswered points to pull ahead of Urbana late in the game. Urbana trailed 21-7 at the half and then fell behind 28-7 after the Rams scored right out of the break. However, the Blue Knights fought back to make it a two score game at 28-14 on a touchdown pass with 9:22 left in the third. That was all the scoring UU could muster against a top-ranked Rams defense. Shepherd tacked on a field goal in the third and scored once more in the fourth after controlling possession for most of the game.
Junior wide receiver Trevon Saunders caught his 15th touchdown pass of the season, giving him sole possession of the conference lead in scoring and a school record for most touchdowns. His two-yard TD reception from Marcus Graham in the third quarter lifted him past Shepherd's Billy Brown and Wesleyan's Michael Anderson.
Altogether, Saunders put together one of the top seasons ever for a Blue Knight receiver. He set career highs in receptions (66), yards (961), touchdowns (15), and all-purpose yards (1,631). Additionally, he became the program's all-time leader for most touchdowns in a game (tied - four), season (15), and receiving yards in a game (232), while moving into third place on the career charts for most touchdowns (24) and receiving yards (2,115 - only the third Blue Knight to top 2,000 yards).
Redshirt freshman DarSean Watts got the start at tailback and scored his first career touchdown against the Rams on Saturday. Watts plunged into the end zone from a yard out with 5:38 in the second quarter, putting UU on the board with the score 21-7. He finished with a personal best 57 rushing yards on eight carries, including a long run of 26 yards.
Graduate senior quarterback Marcus Graham played his final game in a Blue Knight uniform and played well. He went 21 of 42 (50 percent) through the air with one touchdown and zero interceptions. Graham also stepped up with a few big run plays, including a 16-yard scamper on fourth down inside the red zone to set up UU's second touchdown.
Also playing their final game, wide receiver Eric Pelfrey and tight end Larry Southall had solid outings. Pelfrey recorded 47 receiving yards and a highlight-reel catch while Southall hauled down five catches for 40 yards. Both players also posted their best seasons statistically.
On defense, freshman Tommy Harris racked up a career-high 10 tackles, 1.5 for a loss, and a half sack. Senior linebacker Carlton Rematt had 10 tackles and junior Clayton Bullard posted eight stops and his third sack of the year.
UU allowed 520 yards and gained 340 total yards on offense
Both teams ran 60 or more plays
Shepherd only punted one time, going 13 of 17 on third downs
UU went 2 of 3 inside the red zone with two touchdowns
Each team had two sacks
The Blue Knights only had the ball for four minutes in the fourth quarter
UU limited SU wide receiver Billy Brown to only two catches for 11 yards
Five Blue Knights had at least 40 receiving yards
Redshirt freshman Chance Short made his first career start at quarterback for the Blue Knights
Courtesy of the Urbana University Media Department and posted with their permission
Champaign Sports Authority Blog
Follow Champaign County's top, local sports stories year-round from the newest source of sports information.