Evangel continues undefeated season with dominant shutout

Published 11:13 pm Friday, October 21, 2022

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By CHRIS MEGGINSON | Special to the Reporter

ALABASTER – Evangel Christian School completed an undefeated regular season Friday night with a 49-0 win over the Carolina Wildcats of Pickens, South Carolina. The Lightning (9-0) will now compete for the 8-man high school state title, hosting Ezekiel Academy of Montgomery on Oct. 28 at 7 p.m.

“To finish the regular season undefeated feels good, but we have some work to do. Our kids have pointed to the state championship all year. We have to go the hard road because we have Ezekiel, which has started to play really well,” said Tim Smith, ECS head coach. “We want to win the next two weeks, and then go down to Panama Cit and try to defend our national title.”

Hunter Atkins led Evangel with 126 yards total offense, including 97 yards rushing. He opened the night with a 41-yard touchdown run, followed by a 57-yard pick six by Judah Thompson, this year’s ECS punt, pass, kick champion this past Thursday night.

Thompson, who won the ECS punt, pass and kick championship at practice Thursday, scored twice Friday night. He followed the interception with a 21-yard touchdown reception from Eli Whitfield to close the first quarter. It was the first pass of the game and first of three touchdown passes from Whitfield, who connected with Atkins on a 32-yard TD and Kyle Jones on a 29-yard score in the second quarter. Jones led the Lightning with 48 yards receiving. Whitfield finished with 115 yards on 8-of-8 passing.

Evangel led 35-0 at the half.

Colton Dorough scored on a 29-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to extend the Lightning’s lead, 42-0. Nose guard Zeke Turner moved to the backfield and capped the night with a 2-yard touchdown run.

“Our sideline just erupted. As soon as he scored, they went crazy. It’s the second time we’ve given him the ball this year, and he was smiling as he ran off the field,” Smith said.

Clay Stanton led the defense with seven tackles, while Kaden Jones and Hunter Black each had six. Cole Romano had one sack. Judah Thompson, Zion Thompson and Joshua Looman each had an interception, while Elijah Henderson recovered a fumble. Lucas Mast was perfect on point after touchdown kicks.