Eagles soar over Saints

Published 10:27 pm Friday, August 21, 2009

Although Hope Christian School started off slow Friday night, the Eagles regrouped by the end of the first quarter and never looked back en route to a 46-8 victory over the Evangel Family Christian Academy Saints of Montgomery.

The Eagles’ offense sputtered out of the gate, turning the ball over on downs and fumbling on the first two possessions.

But the Hope defense stepped up on the ensuing possession, as Karry Jones sacked the Evangel quarterback for a safety.

The Hope offense quickly answered the defense’s score with some points of their own when Luke Mahan scrambled 8 yards for the Eagle touchdown to close out the quarter.

The Eagles started the second quarter just like the first by forcing the Saints to punt, only to turn the ball over on a Mahan interception in the end zone.

The Hope defense would once again hold the Saints before Mahan connected with Jones for a 5-yard touchdown pass to give the Eagles a 16-0 lead.

Hope tacked one more score on the board with just 28 seconds to go in the half when Mahan took a quarterback sneak 29 yards on fourth-and-1 for the touchdown to give the Eagles a 24-0 halftime lead.

“Luke did good job and we’re proud of him,” said Hope head coach Mark Rettig. “We saw some poise out of him. That offensive line did a much better job than they did last week.”

Following a short delay for lightning, the Eagles’ defense started the second half off with a big play when Andrew Whitson picked up an EFCA fumble and rumbled 50 yards for the score.

“The stunting, the slanting, having some plays instead of just going out there and bumping each other around really makes a difference,” Rettig said of his defense.

After Eric Spence picked up an EFCA fumble on the next possession, the Eagles tacked on two more scores in the quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run by Will Herring and a safety when a Saints punt sailed over the punter’s head and out of the back of the end zone.

In addition to the touchdown run, Herring also made four diving catches, two for first downs, to keep drives alive.

“Will Herring, he did a great job,” Rettig said. “Will has a heart of a giant.”

The Eagles added one more score in the final quarter on a 37-yard Zac Hughes run.

EFCA would not be shut out, as the Saints returned a punt 70 yards with 2:33 left in the game to close out the scoring.

The Eagles will hit the road Aug. 28, as the team travels to Franklin Christian Academy (Tenn.)

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.