Evangel remains perfect against Ezekiel in title game rematch

Published 1:26 am Saturday, September 15, 2018

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

ALABASTER – The Evangel Lightning continued their dominance against fellow 8-man football team and state championship contender Ezekiel Academy with a 60-22 victory on Friday, Sept. 14, that made the Lightning a perfect 9-0 against the Knights.

“We just had more athletes than they did tonight,” head coach Tim Smith said after the game. “When you have more depth in 8-man football, that is a difference maker. We only had to play two players on both sides of the ball tonight.”

Last season, the Lightning met the Knights twice during the season, winning both matchups. One of those was a tightly-contested 59-52 win in the regular season, but the second was a 55-14 dominant victory in the ACSC State Championship game.

In this year’s first meeting between the two, it was very similar to that state championship performance by Evangel, who came to play on both sides of the ball in the impressive win.

“Our kids were excited for it and it was a lot of fun for us taking on a team that we played twice last year one of which was for the state championship,” Smith said.

Despite the strong victory, Smith still didn’t think his team played as well as they could have, but it didn’t ever show off on paper, as the Lightning stormed in front from the start.

Evangel jumped out to an early lead and carried a 34-14 lead into the halftime break thanks to fast and physical football on both sides of the ball.

In the second half, it didn’t change much as the Lightning put up 26 more points and gave up just eight more points on the defensive side of the ball to never put the game in question.

“That was a big win for us, a conference win, and hopefully we do what we are supposed to do moving forward and it helps us get ready for the playoffs,” Smith said.

Tyler Henderson had another big night for Evangel, throwing for four touchdowns and running for another one.

Smith was also extremely impressed with Dawson Humphries’ performance for the second week in a row thanks to his two touchdowns offensively and two interceptions defensively, one of which was a pick-6.

“He was our best player tonight,” Smith said. “He hasn’t played since the sixth grade, but he has been a very bright spot for us this year.”

Running back Will Ferrell also returned from a concussion that has kept him out the last two weeks, and he ended the night with close to 80 yards on the ground.

Defensively Hunter Green had another solid night with Smith saying he might have had close to 20 tackles. Smith said he was also pleased with the play of Samuel Graham.