Kelvin Taylor's historic prep career ends as Glades Day falls in 2A regional final
Friday, November 23, 2012
by David Quinones
Kelvin Taylor, the state's all-time leading career rusher, ran for 163 yards on 40 carries Friday night and scored a touchdown, but it was not enough to keep Glades Day's season from ending in a 20-14 loss at Miami-Dade Christian in the Class 2A-Region 4 championship game at Wooten Field.
Taylor, a Florida commit who began playing varsity in the 8th grade, finishes his career with 11,380 yards. On the national all-time list (which only counts yards starting in a player's 9th-grade year), Taylor is credited with 9,836 yards -- good for sixth all-time.
"I just wish I could have pulled it off but that team did a great job and we just came up short," Taylor said.
Dade Christian quarterback Gary Sampson had 306 all-purpose yards and atoned for a critical interception by picking off Glades Day quarterback Josh Carr to help the Crusaders hold on.
Dade Christian led throughout, taking a 10-0 first-quarter lead and a 17-6 halftime advantage as Glades Day scored on 7-yard pass from Carr to Calvin Darville. Glades Day trailed 20-6 when Taylor scored on a 7-yard run in the fourth quarter and added a 2-point conversion run, but that was it for the scoring. Carr completed 6 of 13 passes for 115 yards with one touchdown.
Sampson, who like most Crusaders plays both offense and defense, was one of three Dade Christian defensive backs to intercept Carr. The final Crusader pick came with less than a minute remaining in a one score game that saw the Gators come storming back from a 20-6 third-quarter deficit. The Gators, and in particular Taylor, seemed unstoppable in the final minutes.
Taylor had his helmet come after being tackled just inside the Crusaders 10-yard line with his Gators threatening to take the lead. By rule he was forced to leave for one down and on the ensuing play Carr's end zone pass intended for Darville was intercepted by Terrance Alls with 36 seconds remaining, sealing the win.
Big time. It's frustrating, big time," Taylor said of not being on the field for the crucial play. "I just wish I could have been in there with my teammates, and we came up just short."
Taylor's longest run in the first half was just 7 yards, but he tallied 109 yards in the second half and was the catalyst for a Gators comeback that fell just short.
"With Kelvin Taylor you've got to hit your run fits. It's all about gap responsibility because if you don't do that, he's capable of breaking an 80-yard run on you," Dade Christiani coach Mike Sonneborn said. "He basically brought them back within one play of winning."
The Crusaders special teams were hit-or-miss most of the night, but Ivan Arenas' two field goals proved to be the difference in a tight game.
In the third quarter, Darville blocked a Dade Christian punt and recovered it on the Crusaders 18 yard line. Taylor would later score to narrow the margin to 20-14.