By Dennis Atwood - firstname.lastname@example.org
WOODSTOCK -- Perry Street Prep used a balanced attack to prevail 38-26 over Massanutten Military Academy on Friday in the regular season finale for both teams.
Perry Street Prep had 275 yards on the ground and 175 through the air.
The opening kickoff by Perry Street Prep traveled only to the Massanutten 32, and Perry Street recovered the free ball when the Colonels failed to close in on the misfire.
On the first play from scrimmage, senior running back Adrian Ray broke a couple of MMA tackles and motored across the goal line, with a mere 10 seconds gone off the game clock.
Perry Street (7-3) struck again on its second possession. Sophomore running back Morris Ray took the handoff on a third-and-two at the Perry Street 34, and threaded and churned his way for a 66 yard touchdown to give the Pride a 14-0 lead just a bit over two minutes into the contest.
The Colonels (3-7) got on-track in their next possession when QB Kenya Ray-Abrams connected with wide receiver Travis Fulgham for a 60-yard completion to the Perry Street 15.
One play later, Ray-Abrams again found an open Fulgham for a 17-yard scoring strike to cut the lead to 14-8.
Ray-Abrams went 13-for-27, 241 yards, two TDs and an interception. Ray-Abrams also gained 113 rushing yards, and scored a TD on the ground.
"[At halftime coach Chris Gilliland] said that we just need to keep our heads up and we had a couple of bad plays at the beginning," Ray-Abrams said. "But, we had this game in control and we could take it, but we just couldn't execute like we wanted to."
MMA recovered a fumbled punt, which set-up a Ray-Abrams 24-yard pass to Fulgham (five receptions for 127 yards in the game) followed by a 10-yard run by Nicky Sanders for first-and-goal at the 6.
The Colonels scored on Sanders' half-back pass to Chase McDevitt, to knot the score at 14-14.
The Pride wasted no time in responding, with a 57-yard TD strike from Kentrell Gay-Hill to Jihad Khabir to take a 22-14 lead into halftime.
Both teams sputtered on offense in the third quarter with numerous turnovers.
Perry Street benefited from pinning MMA deep in its own territory in the third quarter when Ray-Abrams was called for intentional grounding in his own end zone, giving the Pride a safety for the only points of the quarter.
Ray-Abrams' pass was intercepted at the 49 by Morris Ray, who returned the pick to the MMA 8 in the fourth quarter.
The Pride were hit with a 10-yard penalty, but that didn't phase Gay-Hill. He completed a 24-yard pass to Jerod Diggs, his only reception of the game, for a touchdown putting Perry Street up 38-26 with 10:36 remaining in the game.
Junior running back/strong safety Houston Walls was unavailable for the Colonels. Walls suffered a concussion in the Oct. 26 loss to Hancock (Md.).
"If [Walls] would have played, we could have put Sanders somewhere else useful, and Walls would made a couple of plays, on offense, and defense," Ray-Abrams said.
"The big things we were having problems with, obviously, on defense we just couldn't wrap," Gilliland said. "They kept their legs moving and got yardage they probably shouldn't have gotten.
"Offensively, they sent a bunch of guys to a spot where it was tough for us to block. We were trying to roll to both sides, and sometimes we get a little penetration inside and it blows the play up."