Coosa Valley drops homecoming game against Evangel Montgomery

Published 11:15 am Monday, October 2, 2023

By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

HARPERSVILLE – The Coosa Valley Rebels hoped to earn their first win of the season on homecoming, but even though they did not walk away with a victory, they gained valuable experience against the reigning AISA 8-man state champions, the Evangel Lions from Montgomery.

The Lions beat the Rebels, 28-8, in a homecoming showdown on Sept. 29 at Coosa Valley Academy.

“It was not the ending we wanted on a great homecoming night,” Coosa Valley coach Vince DiLorenzo said. “We had chances to get a stop or move the chains, but penalties killed several drives. Our defense created big plays.”

The defense was a bright spot for the Rebels despite the loss, as multiple players made strong contributions to the team.

Kaeden Smalls earned 10 tackles, two interceptions, two sacks and a forced fumble in a big performance. Hunter Willis had seven tackles, a forced fumble and a sack, and Brycen Wilson earned six tackles and blocked a punt.

After a scoreless first quarter, Evangel scored two touchdowns and a pair of 2-point conversions as the second quarter drew to a close, and the Lions went into the locker room with a 16-0 lead.

The Rebels defense also held strong for the third quarter and most of the fourth quarter, but Evangel quickly scored twice in the final minutes to increase its lead to 28-0.

Coosa Valley got on the scoreboard as time winded down thanks to a rushing touchdown from Konner Steele. The ensuing two-point conversion made the final score 28-8.

In addition to its solid defensive day, Coosa Valley also eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark as a team for the second straight week. Steele led the team with 71 yards and a touchdown off of 12 carries.

Braylon Smalls had two rushes for 21 yards, Willis had three rushes for 19 yards, and Kaeden Smalls earned 16 yards off four carries.

Next, Coosa Valley will hit the road to take on Crenshaw Christian as its journey for the AISA playoffs continue.