Football

Evangel’s Curry, Ash: separated at birth?

Look up Connor Curry on the Evangel roster and you see a senior who is 6-foot-2, 190 pounds.

Evangel quarterback Connor Curry will lead the Eagles into the LHSAA Division I state playoffs Friday night against Holy Cross at Rodney Duron Stadium.

Evangel quarterback Connor Curry will lead the Eagles into the LHSAA Division I state playoffs Friday night against Holy Cross at Rodney Duron Stadium.

Look up Tanner Ash on the Evangel roster and you see a senior who is 6-foot-2, 190 pounds.

Both have been in the Evangel system since the seventh grade and both have been four-year starters for coach Byron Dawson.

Tanner Ash (14) stiff arms a defensive player in a game earlier this season.

Tanner Ash (14) stiff arms a defensive player in a game earlier this season.

There’s not one iota of difference between the two guys who will be integral in the Eagles’ chances of winning their 14th state football championship Friday night in New Orleans.

“I believe they’re tied at the hip – they’re like Siamese twins,” Dawson said. “You don’t hardly see one without the other. They exemplify the team chemistry we have this year.”

Curry is the quarterback and the man likely to have the biggest impact on Friday’s game with talented Scotlandville. He has completed 141 of 229 passes for 2,061 yards with 17 touchdowns and just 9 interceptions this season. The District 1-5A first-team member rushed for another 303 yards and 4 scores.

“Connor is a versatile quarterback. He can throw it deep, he runs well and he can be physical when he needs to be. He can get the tough yards,” Dawson said. “He’s a great leader for us and he really knows how to manage the game.”

Evangel head coach Byron Dawson works with his defensive line during a recent team practice.

Evangel head coach Byron Dawson works with his defensive line during a recent team practice.

Curry is just as important to the Evangel family off the field as on it.

“I’d call Connor a high character guy. He’s a very respectful kid who will do whatever you ask,” Dawson said. “It’s tough to be on campus as long as he has and never receive a complaint from a teacher or an administrator his entire career. But I can say that about Connor. And he loves Jesus.”

Ash, a Northwestern State commit, has pulled in 54 for Curry’s passes for 866 yards and 5 touchdowns this season. He’s a big target in Evangel’s talented group of receivers that also includes Caleb Laboy, Josh Walker and Christian Bailiff.

“Tanner is a very diverse player for us. He plays outside or inside receiver, tight end, on special teams and sometimes on defense for us,” Dawson said. “Tanner has a lot of good traits.

“Both of those guys have been in our community for a long time.”

The Evangel offense has been overshadowed by the defense this season, but most coaches believe it’s defense that wins championships. Evangel will be attempting to win their first title since 2010 and their 14th overall.

They’ll face a Scotlandville team that’s noted more as a prep basketball powerhouse. The Hornets haven’t won a football title since 1969, and that was before joining the current LHSAA, according to published reports.

The Hornets are led by 5-11, 190-pound quarterback Levi Lewis, a Louisiana-Lafayette commit, who threw for more than 2,500 yards and 22 scores last season.

Twitter: @JimmyWatson6

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