Hope Christian Eagles get first win of the season
Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 26, 2015
By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer
PELHAM— The Hope Christian Eagles gained their first victory of the season against Evangel Family Christian Academy Sept. 25 with a basketball-like score of 82-76. The young team was behind 38-6 in the first half, but didn’t lose their fire and came back to score their final touchdown with 24 seconds left in the game.
The team had a total of 410 rushing yards and 192 passing, with Colin Kirkpatrick accounting for all 192 passing yards in the game. The freshman quarterback scored seven of the Eagles’ 11 touchdowns, with 238 total rushing yards.
“It was a tough game; it was a long game,” said Hope head coach Tony Nafe. “We significantly outscored them in the second half. I’m really proud of the guys, they didn’t quit (when) they could have quit.”
Evangel led the game at one point, keeping ahead of the Eagles by 18 points. Nafe said Hope would score and Evangel would answer with a touchdown of its own, always keeping that 18-point lead.
When Evangel fumbled the ball, Hope scored and was given the opportunity to get within one touchdown. With 24 seconds left on the clock, Hope scored and was able to hold Evangel on the 30-yard line.
“Our offense really came together,” Nafe said. “We’ve still got work to do on defense. Obviously, when you let somebody score 76 points you’ve got a lot of work to do on defense, but the offense really stepped up.”
Leading defensively was Shane Davis with seven tackles and Juan Cuellar with five.
Davis played safety for Hope, and Nafe said he broke up a number of plays and had one interception.
Cuellar also contributed 75 rushing yards, 87 receiving and two touchdowns. Nafe said Cuellar and Chance Washburn, who had 70 yards receiving for one touchdown, played really well in the night’s game. Ethan Stewart accounted for 105 yards rushing with one touchdown.
“It was a real important night for us with a lot of young guys,” Nafe said. “We have a winning tradition at Hope, and to be 0-5, it’s been pretty hard on the guys. So to finally get something in the win column, I think will go a long way toward boosting their confidence.”
Hope Christian will take on Ezekial Academy Oct. 2 at home.