Hope Christian falls in NACA championship game
By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor
Hope Christian School saw its hopes of an undefeated season come to an end following a 46-44 double-overtime loss to Fountain Inn Christian School (S.C.) in the National Association of Christian Athletes Division I football championship game Nov. 12 in Dayton, Tenn.
Senior receiver Terrance Moore was named the Eagles’ offensive most valuable player in the championship game, which pitted state champions from Alabama and South Carolina against each other.
Moore, Eric Spence, Andrew Bell and Jacob Medders were named to the All-Tournament team.
Hope Christian (12-1) scored on its first drive of the game following a 44-yard touchdown pass from Spence to Moore to take an early 6-0 lead.
Fountain Inn answered with a touchdown pass and a 2-point conversion to take an 8-6 lead. Following a Hope Christian punt, Fountain Inn scored on a touchdown run to extend its lead to 14-6.
Hope Christian fumbled the ball on its on 25-yard line on the second play of the second quarter and the Falcons took advantage of the turnover by scoring on a touchdown pass to push the lead to 20-6.
Spence scored on a 1-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter to cut the lead to 20-12. Fountain Inn scored on a touchdown pass to push the lead to 26-12.
The Eagles answered back with a 39-yard touchdown pass from Spence to Moore to cut the lead to 26-18.
Hope Christian tied the game at 26-26 late in the third quarter following a 3-yard touchdown pass from Spence to Caleb Douglas and pass from Spence to Moore for the 2-point conversion.
Fountain Inn retook the lead, 32-26, in the fourth quarter after scoring on a fourth-down passing play.
Hope Christian responded two plays later with an 85-yard touchdown pass from Spence to Moore to send the game into overtime tied at 32-32.
The Eagles won the toss in the first overtime and Spence scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to give Hope Christian a 38-32 lead.
Fountain Inn scored on a passing play to force a second overtime.
FI scored on a passing play and made the 2-point conversion to take a 46-38 lead in the second overtime.
Hope Christian entered the second overtime session without its two best offensive players. Spence, who bruised his ribs in the Division I semifinal game Nov. 10, finally had to come out of the game. Moore was also out with a knee injury.
Streets took over at quarterback and scored on a 1-yard quarterack keeper, but the Eagles couldn’t add the 2-point conversion and dropped its first game of the season.
Spence completed 18-of-33 for 307 yards. The Eagles finished with 327 total passing yards.
Moore had four catches for 174 yds and three touchdowns.
Defensively, Bell led Hope Christian with 13 tackles. Andrew Whitson recorded nine tackles and a sack and Caleb Rettig finished with eight tackles.