"I was exhausted," he laughed.
The Lancaster Catholic running back set a District 3 rushing record in the Crusaders' 41-33 victory against Dallastown on Friday. He rushed for 442 yards on 22 attempts. He also scored six touchdowns.
"Six plays, probably 300 yards and 41 points, kid is going to go places," Dallastown coach Kevin Myers said.
It was suggested to Myers he couldn't be upset with the way his team played, considering Clay needed a record-setting night to beat them.
"I can," Myers said, "we lost. In all honesty we came in here with high expectations. If we want to play with the big boys, we have to play the big boys."
The defending state champions in Class AA, Lancaster Catholic handled Dallastown in the season opener despite some uncharacteristic mistakes. The District 3 champs in three of the last four seasons, Lancaster Catholic turned the ball over twice and committed 12 penalties.
But Clay made up for the miscues.
If Dallastown didn't know what it was up against during his first two carries of the game, he let them know the third time he touched the ball. The 215-pound senior broke free into Dallastown's secondary, took a hit, turned and nearly finished off a 32-yard run by scoring a touchdown. Brought down at the 1-yard line, he scored on the next play.
"I don't mind (contact) at all," Clay said. "It really didn't hit me I had an opportunity to score until I saw nothing but green grass."
Clay let everyone know would-be tacklers would be punished.
"It came down to tackling," Myers said. "He may be the best player in the state ... but we still have to go through legs and tackle people."
He scored on runs of 76 and 66 yards in the first quarter. The 66-yarder looked eerily similar to the 32-yarder. He took a hit, laid out the defender trying to bring him down and kept trucking.
He had 143 yards rushing with 6:22 to play in the first quarter. He finished the first quarter with 208 yards and finished the half with 225 yards.
Only a cramp in his right hamstring slowed him, but if anyone deserved a drink in this game it was Clay.
Gatorade does wonderful things.
"It was a mix, Gatorade and water," Clay said with a smile about his halftime beverage regimen.
Clay rushed for two more big scores (62 and 33 yards) in the third quarter. After he ran for another 76-yard touchdown with 8:42 to play, he didn't carry the ball the rest of the game.
He came close to setting the state record for rushing yards in a game, Harbor Creek's Stephen Blouse carried for 490 yards in 2005. Clay's performance ranks in the state's top five for single-game rushing.
Breaking in four new offensive line starters, Clay took notice of his teammates.
"They have some pretty good size on them ... and they really stepped up ... and without them tonight's win wouldn't have been possible," Clay said.
Clay has six offers from colleges, and he will try to narrow it down from Duquesne, Kent State, Delaware, Old Dominion, Towson and UMass.
Dallastown 6 7 7 13 -- 33
Lanc. Catholic 20 0 14 7 -- 41
LC -- Roman Clay 1 run (kick failed), 8:38
. Dt -- Alpha Khan 4 run (kick failed), 8:17.
LC -- Clay 76 run (kick failed), 6:22.
LC -- Clay 66 run (Trey Miller run), 1:10.
Dt -- Andrew Henry 1 run (Josh Chronister kick), 9:33.
LC -- Clay 62 run (run failed), 11:14
LC -- Clay 33 run (Aaron Springer pass to Sean Titus), 3:32.
Dt -- Malik Lewis 27 pass from Henry (Chronister kick), 8:04.
LC -- Clay 76 run (Evan Purvis kick), 8:42.
Dt -- Chronister 7 pass from Henry (Chronister kick), 5:40.
Dt -- Lewis 5 pass from Henry (no play attempted), 0:00.
-- Dt -- LC
First downs -- 13 -- 15
Rushes-yards -- 38-127 -- 38-461
Passing -- 14-24-0 -- 6-9-1
Passing yards -- 156 -- 67
Total yards -- 283 -- 528
Punts -- 6-45.3 -- 3-35.3
Fumbles-lost -- 5-4 -- 4-1
Penalties-yards -- 6-30 -- 12-82.5
Rushing -- Dallastown, Robert Catchings 16-70, Henry 11-31, Alpha Khan 4-14, Keith Matthews 5-9, Lewis 2-3; Lancaster Catholic, Clay 22-442, Eric Patterson 6-23, Carmelo Cruz 2-9, Springer 3-3, Miller 1-(-3), Purvis 4-(-13).
Passing -- Dallastown, Henry 14-24-0 156; Lancaster Catholic, Purvis 2-2-0 34 yards, Springer 4-7-1 33.
Receiving -- Dallastown, Lewis 4-87, Chronister 5-40, Catchings 2-18, Adam Deardorff 1-7, Chandler Green 1-5, Matthews 1-0; Lancaster Catholic, Titus 4-40, Cruz 1-18, Heise 1-9.