Hope comes marching in on Saints

The Evangel Family Christian Academy Saints came marching in Columbiana for the second time this season Friday, and the visiting left with a loss for the second time this season as the Hope Christian Eagles amassed 388 yards of total offense on homecoming en route to a 62-0 shutout victory.

The Eagles previously defeated the Saints, 46-8, in the second week of the season.

Hope quarterback Luke Mahan owned the first quarter, accounting for four touchdowns as the Eagles opened an early 28-0 lead and never looked back.

Mahan rushed for a 9-yard touchdown, and threw for three scores in the opening quarter.

Mahan’s opening quarter scores included a pass from 10 yards out to Eric Spence, and passes from 3 and 23 yards to Zac Hughes.

The Eagles added three more scores in the second quarter, and it was all Hughes.

Hughes opened the quarter with a dramatic 30-yard punt return for a score, and touchdown runs from 20 and 41 yards.

“The two of them on the field at the same time was a winning combination,” Hope head coach Mark Rettig said of Mahan and Hughes.

Hughes added a 30-yard touchdown run on the Eagles’ opening drive of the second half, while Will Herring closed out the quarter, and the scoring, with a 57-yard touchdown run.

The second half was marred by an injury to team-leading tackler Jacob Medders, who left the game with a shoulder injury.

“Jacob is a great leader,” Rettig said. “He means a lot to the team.”

Offensively for the Eagles (7-2), Mahan was 8-of-12 for 166 yards and three touchdowns, while also rushing for 41 yards and a touchdown, for a combined 207 yards.

Hughes finished with 99 yards rushing, and total of six touchdowns.

Defensively for Hope, Caleb Rettig had a team-high 12 tackles, including one sack.

Herring was next with 11 tackles, including three sacks and an interception.

Glyn Glover also had 11 tackles and an interception in the win, while Brock Boyd had an interception and Ryan Gibbens had a fumble recovery.

The Eagles hit the road Friday to take on Shiloh Hills (Ga.) Hope will close out the regular season with a rematch against the cross-town rival Evangel Lightning Oct. 30. The Oct. 30 game will kickoff at 7 p.m. in Columbiana.