Hope falls short at NACA championship
By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Writer
The Hope Christian Eagles were less than one minute away from knocking off the No. 1 seed Webb School Feet and clinching a berth in the championship game. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be, as the Eagles fell, 28-22.
The Eagles came into the tournament battling injuries and a lack of depth, but opened a 6-0 lead on the previously undefeated Webb following a Reid Allen to Dillon Thompson 40-yard pass. The Eagles scored a second time when Allen broke a 24-yard run for a score.
The Eagles led until midway through the third, when Webb tied the game at 22-22. With seven minutes left in the game, Hope drove all the way down to the Webb 6-yard line before turning the ball over on downs.
With 47 seconds left, Hope held the Feet to a three and out. The Feet pulled a fake punt, racing 72 yards for a touchdown.
The Eagles managed to move the ball to the Hope 44-yard line, but ran out of time, falling to the Feet, 28-22.
Allen finished with 123 passing yards, Thompson posted 87 receiving yards and Jonathan Misso had 15 tackles in the loss.
From there, the Eagles squared off with the Tri-City Eagles in the consolation game, falling 40-24. The Eagles once again opened with a lead on a 62-yard pass from Allen to Thompson.
Fatigue started to take over the Eagles, as Tri-City scored three straight touchdowns before Allen found Tim Bell on a 15-yard touchdown pass. The lone other Hope score came when Allen hit Cannon Fuqua on a 25-yard strike.
Despite the loss, head coach Tony Nafe had nothing but praise for his squad.
“We have been fighting severe injuries,” he said. ‘I couldn’t be more proud of the guys. We have tremendous talent, not depth. It was disappointing, but I’ve never seen a team fight like that.”
The Eagles finished 8-3 on the season.
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