Lightning strikes again: Evangel defeats Lighthouse to claim state title

Published 12:10 am Saturday, November 5, 2022

By SCOTT MIMS | Special to the Reporter

ALABASTER — The Evangel Lightning not only defeated the Lighthouse Homeschool Warriors for the 8-man ACSC football state championship title on Friday night, Nov. 4—they also continued their unbeaten streak for the 2022 season.

The Lightning did it in dominating fashion, ending with a 55-15 win and earning a ticket to the National Home School Athletic championship tournament next weekend.

“We finished the season 11-0 and now we will go down to Panama City Beach next weekend and play for a national title,” said Evangel coach Tim Smith. “It’s been a really good year, and I told the boys after the game tonight it’s been a great ride so far. Just a really good season, a great group of kids who love playing football for Evangel and love each other.”

Quarterback Eli Whitfield got the Lightning on the board in the first quarter by completing a 40-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Atkins. Then, Colton Dorough blasted a 48-yard run to the end zone and Will Welch returned a kickoff 79 yards for a TD.

Atkins was the star of the second quarter, running a 14-yard touchdown and two 20-yard touchdowns. The second quarter also saw a 55-yard touchdown pass from Whitfield to Judah Thompson.

In the third quarter, Evangel running back Tyler Wilson scored a 1-yard touchdown run.

In all, Atkins had 13 carries for 127 yards and was chosen as the game’s MVP. Meanwhile, Whitfield completed six of 11 passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns—the second of which was his 100th career passing TD.

Thompson hauled in two catches for a total 62 yards and a touchdown, and kicker Cody Bolton made seven of eight PAT attempts on the evening.

Defensively, Kaden Jones racked up six tackles with one for a loss, a sack and an interception; and Clay Stanton had six tackles with one for a loss and three sacks.