Evangel Christian wins homecoming game against Evangel Family

Evangel Christian School running back Josh Flanders tries to break away from a pair of Evangel Family defenders in the school's homecoming game Sept. 23. (Contributed/Barry Stephenson)

By MARK WINDHAM / For the Reporter

ALABASTER — Evangel Christian School used a strong night from running back Josh Flanders, who rushed for 277 yards and five touchdowns, in a 52-44 victory Sept. 23 over Evangel Family of Montgomery.

The game featured nearly 1,000 yards of offense, but the Lightning would stop the visiting Saints with 36 seconds remaining to seal the victory and improve to 6-0 on the season.

The Lighting got off to a shaky start as the Saints scored on their first play from scrimmage on a 65-yard touchdown run and added a 2-point conversion.

Evangel Christian answered back when Flanders scored from 26 yards out and Nate Scott added the 2-point conversion to tie the game at 8-8.

The Lightning’s next possession resulted in six more points as Clay O’Neal finished off a 6-play, 64-yard drive with a 1-yard dive to put Evangel Christian up 14-8.

Evangel Christian took a 22-8 lead when Flanders scored on a 44-yard touchdown run and Scott hooked up with Aaron Walker for the 2-point conversion. The Lightning stretched the lead to 28-8 when Scott scored a 17-yard touchdown on a reverse.

Flanders added his third touchdown of the half on a 1-yard touchdown run with two minutes remaining in the half. Evangel Family scored on a 17-yard pass with 17 seconds remaining in the half to pull within 34-24.

The second half got off to a disastrous start for the Lightning, as the visiting Saints recovered consecutive on-side kicks and turned both into touchdowns to take a 36-34 lead.

Scott added his second touchdown of the night on Evangel Christian’s next possession when he scored on a 28-yard touchdown run to give the Lightning a 40-36 lead.

After stopping the Saints on a fourth-down play, Flanders hit pay dirt with a 46-yard touchdown run to put Evangel Christian up 46-36.

Flanders added his last touchdown on the night with a 50-yard scoring run to help the Lightning extend their lead to 52-36.

The visiting Saints added a touchdown and stopped the Lightning for one last shot at a tie. However, the Lightning held the Saints on four straight plays to seal the homecoming victory.