Evangel shut out 8-0 at Patrician

By Chris Megginson | Special to the Reporter

BUTLER – Ball control plagued the Evangel Christian School Lightning in an 8-0 loss at Patrician Academy’s Hannah-Hesselman Field. The Lightning gave away five turnovers and changed possession on downs three more times as Patrician avenged its 2016 loss in the series and handed Evangel its first shutout loss since 2010.

“The effort is there. They’re playing really hard, but the turnovers and penalties are killing us on offense. I’ve got to do a better job of getting them ready to play,” said Evangel head coach Tim Smith.

After a scoreless first quarter, Patrician found the end zone with 10:21 to play in the opening half. Blake Reid found starting quarterback Anderson Newman on a 9-yard touchdown pass, followed by a 2-point pass to make it 8-0.

Reid later fumbled a reception deep in Evangel territory, but the Lightning turned it back over to the Saints when Reid picked off Tyler Henderson at the Patrician 30 with less than a minute to play before halftime.

Evangel had its share of opportunities in the game with the help of its defense, but failed to capitalize.

“Defensively we had our back to the wall I don’t know how many times, but they kept making the play and getting us the ball back,” Smith said.

Evangel moved into the red zone in third quarter. Tyler Henderson found his brother Coleby Henderson in back of the end zone but was out of bounds to set up fourth and short, followed by a turnover on downs.

Theo Mangos, who transferred from Cornerstone Christian, recovered a bad snap at the Patrician 12 midway in the third, but the Lightning went backwards to set up fourth-and-20. Henderson’s pass to Luke Sanders was batted away to give the ball back to the Saints.

Patrician controlled the clock the rest of the quarter to maintain its 8-0 lead, but Evangel held the Saints on fourth down to get the ball back on its own 16. Evangel pushed the ball down field, and then Luke Sanders stretched out to catch a Tyler Henderson pass at the goal line to set up first-and-goal. However, the Lightning fumbled into the end zone two plays later to give the ball back to Patrician.

Evangel held Patrician to get the ball back with 1:31 to play at its own 16 yard line, but Reid picked off another pass, this time to ice the game for the Saints.

John Lloyd led the Lightning defense with 10.5 tackles, followed by 10 apiece from Mangos and Hunter Green. Davis Windsor added eight and Jonah Clore came off the bench for 6.5 stops at nose guard.

Evangel will play its first game of the season in Alabaster next week, Sept. 1, when it hosts Kingwood Christian School at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast as the APH Radio Game of the Week on 99.9 FM.