Evangel downs Hope, returns to ACSC title game

By Chris Megginson | For the Reporter

ALABASTER – Evangel Christian School cruised past rival Hope Christian to a 60-12 victory in the Alabama Christian Schools Conference (ACSC) semifinals on Friday at the ECS Sports Complex.

“I’m just happy for this team. They bought into everything we’ve been trying to do. We need to win one more,” Smith said. “When you’re playing on the last week of the year, that’s all you want.”

The win puts the Lightning (7-2) in the ACSC Tony Naffe Championship Game against Ezekiel Academy (7-2) on Friday, Nov. 3. ECS will host the game for the fifth-straight season.

It is the third-straight championship game meeting between the two programs, with Evangel winning both 68-30 and 64-20 the last two seasons. Earlier this season, ECS defeated Ezekiel, 59-52, to improve to 7-0 all-time against the Knights.

“I’m excited. We all are. I told them when I got here, I know some of you have won it, but I’ve never won one. We’ll have our hands full next week, because they’re really good, but they do have to come to Alabaster.”

In the win over Hope, Tyler Henderson led the Lightning with 184 yards on 12-of-18 passing and six touchdowns. He also had 42 yards rushing on five carries.

Four of those touchdowns were caught by Seth Harrison, who led all players with 113 receiving yards and seven catches. Coleby Henderson had 80 yards on five catches and two touchdowns.

On the final play of the second quarter, Kamden Smith hit Luke Sanders on a 48-yard touchdown to end the half up 47-6. The pass with eight seconds to play was set up by a wildcat formation run by John Lloyd near midfield. Smith also had a 7-yard pass to Samuel Graham and led the Lightning with 62 yards on five carries.

Will Ferrell added an 18-yard touchdown run in in fourth quarter.

Hope Christian scored its 12 points on a kick return and touchdown run by Jackson Davis.

Davis Windsor and Lloyd each led the Evangel defense with six tackles. Luke Moore had two sacks.