Gray Leads Trojans to Convincing Victory over Waverly

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Monday, October 15, 2018, 8:22 am
By: 
Mark Meyer

Above: Junior running back T’Senre Gray rushed for 229 yards and scored three touchdowns in the Trojans’ 43-0 victory over Waverly.

There’s something about a genuine victory smile that is instantly recognizable and needs little, if any, introduction. It’s a stand-alone symbol of a job well done, the just reward for an honest day’s or night’s work.

This particular smile belonged to East Lansing junior running back T’Senre Gray who, by all accounts, had a breakout/breakaway game Friday night in leading his team to a 43-0 demolition of Waverly at Lynn C. Adams Stadium.

Gray carried the ball 15 times, scored three touchdowns and finished with 229 yards rushing. He recovered a fumble on defense and made his presence felt on special teams. A special night for him, to say the least, as the Trojans improved their record to 7-1 in front of a chilly, damp Senior Night crowd.

“It was tremendous,” Gray said. “I’m glad I got the experience I needed in practice (leading up to this game) … and I’m glad that my teammates, Like Kobe (Hayward), coached me on how to step up, and it all played out very well.”

Much like Kaleb Elam did the week prior against Everett, Gray more than filled the Trojans’ backfield void as Hayward continues to recover from a midseason injury. With three minutes left in the first quarter, Gray punctured the Waverly defense on a 3-yard run for the game’s first score. He helped double the margin with 9:20 remaining in the second quarter on an 81-yard jaunt through the middle of the Warriors’ defense.

“We put in a few new twists in some of our blocking schemes to counter their size advantage on us,” East Lansing coach Bill Feraco said, “and our guys (including senior David Wachira and junior Jamar Mills) made it work because they ran the ball right up in there.”

Gray’s third touchdown – a 32-yard run with 8:50 remaining in the third quarter – was preceded by junior Malakai Matthews’ second interception of the game.

Feraco praised his team’s defensive effort, which accounted for four interceptions, two recovered fumbles and a two-point safety in the fourth quarter,

“Defensively we accomplished what we wanted,” Feraco said. “I’m very happy for some guys who haven’t had as much playing time this season – Marcus Denson, Dano Ley, Kye Bristow – but who were able to contribute (tonight) to our effort.”

Wachira picked up where Gray left off by scoring the Trojans’ final three touchdowns on runs of 8, 20 and 6 yards. He finished the game with 91 yards rushing on 12 carries as the Trojans amassed 377 total rushing yards on 37 carries, an average of 10.1 yards per carry.

“As long as we have the patience and perseverance that we need, I knew we could have this kind of season,” Gray said.

East Lansing travels to Okemos this Friday for the final game of the regular season. The Trojans will open the MHSAA Division 3 playoffs at home on Friday, Oct. 26.

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