Evangel hands Freedom Academy first loss of season

Published 1:23 am Saturday, September 18, 2021

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By CHRIS MEGGINSON | Special to the Reporter

HUNTSVILLE – Evangel Christian posted a statement win Sept .17, defeating the top-ranked Freedom Cowboys, 63-24, on the road.

“We played really well tonight. Our kids were really excited to play them. MaxPreps had them ranked No. 1 and us No. 3. We wanted to beat them, and it’s the best we’ve played this year. We played lights out,” said ECS head coach Tim Smith after the win. “It was a big win for us going into conference play.”

Hunter Atkins gave Evangel an early 14-0 lead with touchdown runs of 50 and 83 yards, with extra points from Lucas Mast. Freedom answered with a 90-yard kick return and a two-point conversion.

Eli Whitfield, however, closed the first quarter with a 2-yard touchdown run to give Evangel a 20-8. Whitfield continued the scoring in the second quarter with a pair of touchdown passes to Judah Thompson of 21 and 9 yards, as well as a 1-yard touchdown run to extend the Lightning’s lead to 42-16 at the half.

Whitfield and Thompson connected on a 6-yard touchdown pass early in the third quarter, followed by another Atkins touchdown and a 68-yard Whitfield TD pass to Christian Chapman, who finished the game with 215 yards on 11 catches.

Atkins finished the night with 136 yards on 11 carries. Whitfield led the offense with 375 yards on 20-of-33 passing and added 35 yards on four rushes. He accounted for six touchdowns. Thompson also played some at quarterback, completing both of his passes for 75 yards, including a 26-yard, fourth-down pass to Michael Blackstone. He also had 128 yards receiving.

Kaden Jones 10 had tackles and a sack, while Dylan Weathers had six tackles and a sack. Grady Watkins had six stops off the bench. Hayden Black had five tackles, two pass break ups, two fumble recoveries and returned one.

Evangel (5-1) will host Lighthouse HomeSchool on Sept. 24 at 7 p.m.