Hope hangs on for win over Ezekiel

Hope's No. 74 Micah Douglas and No. 2 Nick Ray tackle for a loss in a contest with Ezekiel Oct. 10 (Contributed/Twanna Arnold)

Hope’s No. 74 Micah Douglas and No. 2 Nick Ray tackle for a loss in a contest with Ezekiel Oct. 10 (Contributed/Twanna Arnold)

By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Editor

By head coach Tony Nafe’s own admission, the Hope Christian Eagles got the win over Ezekiel Academy — but it didn’t come easy.

The Eagles held off the Knights, 32-27, but Nafe said the effort wasn’t one for the record books.

“I’ll take the win, but it wasn’t Hope football,” he said. “Ezekiel is…much better, but it an uninspired performance by (us).”
The Knights opened up with a 7-0 lead, but a kickoff returned for a touchdown by Cannon Fuqua gave the Eagles an 8-7 lead following the two-point conversion.

Ezekiel scored again to make it 14-8, but Dillon Thompson reeled in a touchdown pass to give Hope a 20-14 lead going into the half.

Hope opened the half with Thompson hitting Nick Ray for a score to put Hope up 26-14. Ezekiel scored to bring the game to 26-21, and the Eagles answered with a Chance Washburn touchdown to boost the Eagles to 32-21.

Ezekiel managed to score once more, but Hope held on for the 32-27 win.

Fuqua finished with 108 yards passing, while Thompson had 100 receiving yards and 35 rushing yards. Joseph Patton had 11 tackles, while Micah Douglas had a fumble recovery.

Nafe said that while the game wasn’t what he hoped for in terms of play on the field, he said he felt the team was ready for the next few weeks. Nafe also said he tried to rest as many starters as possible to help them heal up from injuries.

“We had a real lesson on who the leaders are,” he said. “We were sound. WE’ve got LightHouse next week, then three weeks till (the) first round of the (ACSC) playoffs.

With the win, Hope secured the third seed in the first round of the ACSC playoffs, and will return home to face LightHouse for homecoming Oct. 17.