Evangel wins 8-man conference opener

By Chris Megginson | For the Reporter

MONTGOMERY – Evangel Christian School used three defensive touchdowns and a game-saving interception to defeat Ezekiel Academy, 59-52, in the Lightning’s Alabama Christian Sports Conference (ACSC) opener, Sept. 8.

“It’s different. It’s fast. You can’t relax. You can score so fast, and it’s on,” said ECS Coach Tim Smith about his first 8-man game. “It’s really fun. It’s a wide-open. It’s like playing football at P.E., but instead of the flags you have on pads. As a defensive coordinator, it drove me crazy, because you’re locked up in man and have to make a play.”

That’s exactly what Evangel did multiple times.

Tyler Henderson found his brother Coleby Henderson on a 53-yard touchdown pass to take a 7-0 lead with nine minutes to play in the first quarter. Chase Callahan and Kamden Smith also scored in the first quarter, which took more than 30 minutes to play.

Kamden Smith made it 26-8 to open the second quarter, before Ezekiel made it 26-14. The Henderson brothers connected again on a 70-yard touchdown pass to make it 34-14. Tyler finished the night with 195 yards on 4-of-10 passing, including 123 yards to Coleby on two receptions.

Evangel added two defensive scores to lead by 33 points, 44-14, with 5:28 to play in the half. A Hunter Green sack, one of five in the game, forced a fumble, which Theo Mangos scooped and returned for a touchdown. Coleby Henderson followed with a pick-six for the second defensive score.

Ezekiel’s Seth Johnson found Chris Carter for a touchdown to make it 47-22 at halftime.

Kamden Smith, who led ECS with 165 yards on 18 carries, scored his third touchdown early in the third quarter to lead, 53-22. Ezekiel answered with 22 straight points before Coleby Henderson intercepted his second pick-six to go up 59-44.

The Knights scored late and successfully recovered an on-side kick to have one last chance. Wyatt Rickles pressured Johnson in the final seconds and Tyler Parks picked off the pass in the end zone to secure the win for Evangel.

John Lloyd led the ECS defense with nine tackles, including two for a loss. Green had seven tackles.

Evangel (2-1) will return to 11-man football on Sept. 15 when it meets rival Hope Christian School (1-2) at Cornerstone Christian School. ECS will be the home team, place Smith back on the Cornerstone home sideline, the same place he coached the previous 19 seasons.