Kelvin Taylor rushes for 437 yards as Glades Day beats Jupiter Christian in the Class 1B regional final
Friday, November 26, 2010
by Jeff Greer
By Jennifer Cecil/The Palm Beach Post
Kelvin Taylor breaks loose for some of his 437 rushing yards in Glades Day's victory Friday.
Kelvin Taylor heard all the chatter about him.
Opponents said he was slower than last year, when as a freshman, he ran for 2,697 yards. They said he couldn't cut back like he did.
All that stemmed from a partially torn meniscus in Taylor's knee that required off-season surgery and a long recovery.
Whichever Taylor opponents saw on tape certainly didn't show up on Friday night at Roger Dean Stadium for Glades Day's Class 1B regional final showdown with Jupiter Christian.
Taylor ran for 437 yards and five touchdowns to carry the underdog Gators past Jupiter Christian, 35-29. He almost single-handedly carried the offensive load for his team, helping Glades Day (8-4) beat Jupiter Christian (10-2) in the playoffs for the second consecutive year.
"All that talk, that's motivation for me," Taylor said. "Everything else just came natural to me."
In a game that literally went drive-for-drive between the offenses, it was Taylor's 76-yard touchdown dash with 1:32 to play that made the difference.
After forcing a Jupiter Christian punt with just under two minutes to play, Glades Day took over at its own 19. Then, after a 5-yard penalty, Taylor broke free down the right side and outran multiple Jupiter Christian defensive backs to make the game-winning run.
"It came down to (that)," Jupiter Christian coach Bill Powers said. "Our offense hadn't been stopped all day, but they wanted it more than us. Then they got the ball and scored in two plays."
The powerful-but-quick Taylor did a little bit of everything to surpass the 271 yards and five touchdowns he had in Glades Day's 45-44 win over Jupiter Christian in last season's regional finals.
By the end of the first half, Taylor had taken seven carries for 10 or more yards. The Gators used him inside and out, mixing up power tosses with inside-the-tackle bullying.
Jupiter Christian didn't have answers for any of it.
"We felt like we could run the ball right at them," Glades Day coach Pete Walker said. "That was one of the finest efforts out of a football team I've seen in my years coaching."
It was heartbreaking for Jupiter Christian, a squad that spent the entire off-season preparing for Friday's game.
Jupiter Christian had high hopes to win its third state title.
Running back Trey Pendergrass, a senior who had 1,924 yards and 28 touchdowns entering the game, had an on-again, off-again evening. He finished with 94 yards and off 19 carries.
Quarterback Keddy Bostic had an efficient evening. Bostic was 9-of-17 passing for 118 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions . He also ran for a touchdown, and his 7-yard scoring pass to Josh Talbott gave Jupiter Christian a 29-21 lead with 8:43 to play.
But it was Taylor who stole the show.
"I just trust my line," Taylor said. "When people talk about me, I take it to the heart and try to come out and perform like I did."