Lightning and thunder

Published 11:22 pm Friday, August 15, 2008

It took five years for Evangel Classical Christian and Hope Christian to get together on the football field, but it only took the Lightning 48 minutes to declare supremacy over the Eagles.

The Lightning (1-0) got behind the strong rushing attack of Hunter Burridge and rode the newcomer all the way to the dominating victory, 62-20.

“We felt like we could run on them, and we did a pretty good job of that,” Evangel head coach Steve Dean said. “I was a little worried about our tailback position … but Hunter has stepped in and done really well.”

The Lightning took an early advantage in the match-up when quarterback Henry Foster connected with Collin Hipps for a 28-yard touchdown pass.

After the two-point conversion, the Lightning got the ball right back on a Hope fumble, and then Foster added another score on an 11-yard run.

Burridge added his second two-point conversion to put the Lightning on top, 16-0.

After a failed fake punt by the Eagles, the Lightning went back to the end zone on a 2-yard run by Burridge, who made it 24-0 after the conversion run.

The Eagles fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and Foster went back to Hipps for a diving catch to put the Lightning on top 30-0.

Hope answered the score with some trickery as Zac Hughes completed a pass to Chris Hughes, who in turn pitched the ball to Adam Davis for the hook-and-ladder touchdown to cut the lead to 30-6.

On the first play of the ensuing drive, Evangel had a 65-yard touchdown play called back due to holding, but the Lightning answered a few minutes later with a 3-yard touchdown run by Burridge to make the score 36-6.

Evangel added another score off of a 55-yard run by Jaken Sylestine to make the score 42-6 at the half.

In the third quarter, it was more of the same for the Lightning as Burridge ran for a touchdown and Foster completed a touchdown pass to Hipps.

Hope answered early in the fourth quarter when Robert Jacks picked off Roecker Melick and returned the pick 46 yards for a touchdown.

Melick avenged himself on the next drive by completing a 33-yard touchdown pass to Auston Sullivan.

The Eagles added one last score as Luke Mahan completed a pass to Davis, but the damage had already been done.

Offensively for the Lightning, Burridge rushed 16 times for 119 yards and three touchdowns. Foster was a near perfect 5-of-6 for 74 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 68 yards and a touchdown. Sylestine had six rushes for 84 yards and two touchdowns.

Defensively, Hipps had five tackles, two for loss, and a fumble recovery. Sylestine had five tackles and an assist, while Luke Webb had four tackles and a forced fumble.

For Hope (0-1), Hughes was 8-of-17 for 157 yards and a touchdown, while rushing nine times for 63 yards. Mahan was 3-of-10 for 83 yards and a touchdown. Davis had two receptions for 135 yards and two touchdowns.

Jacks was the leading tackler for the Eagles, finishing with seven tackles, three assists and an interception return for a 46-yard touchdown.