Evangel extends win streak, secures home field advantage with win over Ezekiel
Published 2:06 am Saturday, September 30, 2023
By CHRIS MEGGINSON | Special to the Reporter
WETUMPKA – Alabama’s longest active high school football win streak extended to 25 games Friday night with Evangel Christian School rolling to a 64-18 win at Ezekiel Academy. The win also wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the Alabama Christian School Conference playoffs for Evangel (8-0, 3-0 ACSC).
Most weeks, ECS head coach Tim Smith tells his team to start out fast. The Lightning followed the script once again Friday, taking a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and leading 44-12 at halftime.
“I was really proud of our offense tonight,” Smith said. “We were short-handed and had some guys step up.”
Caeleb Austin took over in the backfield for Colton Dorough and led the Lighting with 145 yards on the ground, including a 3-yard touchdown to start the fourth quarter scoring. Kemp Swords added 115 yards rushing and completed 12-of-14 passes for 195 yards.
Swords started the night with a pair of touchdown passes to Will Welch and Zion Thompson. Welch had 83 yards receiving on three catches.
The Lightning and Ezekiel traded touchdowns early in the second quarter. Swords ran two in from 59 and 14 yards, before Hayden Black added the first points on defense for the night with a 43-yard pick-six.
Swords and Austin each ran in a 2-point play in the first half, while Evangel also completed 2-point passes to Clay Stanton and Grady Watkins.
The third quarter was all Lightning with Austin scoring on a 40-yard run, Swords completing a 7-yard touchdown pass to Stanton and Brock Humphrey breaking on a 71-yard run for the final ECS touchdown. Shace Green ran in the last 2-point play.
Ezekiel scored once more on a 23-yard pass in the fourth quarter.
Evangel’s defense recovered two fumbles and had three interceptions. Black led the team with five tackles, while Cole Romano, Watkins and Joshua Looman each had four.
The Lightning are now set to travel to Franklin, Tennessee next weekend to play Franklin Christian on Oct. 6. It will be the fourth state ECS has played a team from this season, while also pitting the top two teams in the nation into an 8-man battle.
“We’re really excited,” Smith said. “We’ve had a good schedule this year. We’ve played some good football teams, and this will be one of the top ones we’ve faced. They’re really, really good. It should be a great challenge.”