On senior day at Urbana University Stadium on Saturday, seniors Tajuan Green and Trevon Saunders thrilled Blue Knight backers one last time with a pair of touchdown connections to lead UU past the visiting Concord Mountain Lions, 36-15.
On their first offensive play, the duo treated fans to a familiar sight as Green connected with Saunders for a 71-yard touchdown to give UU a 7-0 lead.
The Mountain Lions (2-9) took the lead a few possessions later on a 25-yard TD run by Jamal Petty and the subsequent two-point conversion, but the Knights reclaimed the lead on Ja’Vahri Portis’ 11-yard scamper to the left pylon. Green and Saunders connected again from 34 yards out on the final play of the first half to send the Blue Knights into the locker room with a 21-8 lead.
By halftime, UU had outgained the visitors 223 yards to 148 despite having the ball for nine fewer minutes.
In the third quarter, the Blue Knights benefitted from good field position and some gutsy plays, including a six-yard fake-punt scamper by punter Brandon Purk on fourth-and-five. However, UU was unable to extend the lead and Petty’s touchdown run early in the fourth quarter trimmed the Blue Knight lead to 21-15.
On the next possession, Green found sophomore Rodell Rahmaan streaking across the middle and up the right sideline for a 38-yard gain to the Concord 2-yard line. Two plays later, junior tailback Trey McFadden punched it in to extend the line. On the two-point try, Green found – who else? – Saunders to push the advantage to 14 points.
UU senior defensive back Andre Cliff came up with a big interception off of Mountain Lions quarterback Adam Fulton with seven minutes remaining to get the ball back for the Blue Knights. Green capped the ensuing drive with a 51-yard touchdown run to squash any hopes of a Concord comeback.
In the final game of his three years under center for the Blue Knights, Green finished with 199 yards and two touchdowns through the air while adding a career-best 186 yards on the ground with a scoring run to boot. Saunders caught six balls for 117 yards and two scores, extending his school-record career total to 33 touchdown receptions.
Senior Josh Dillard paced the Blue Knight defense with 16 tackles in his final game while Clayton Bullard wrapped up his career with 7 stops. Cliff’s interception was the lone turnover for the UU defense.
The win brings UU’s season to a close with a 5-6 record, a two-win improvement from 2016.
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