Green Oaks’ band played the loudest but it was the booming sounds from Evangel’s offense and defense that made the difference to a happy homecoming crowd.
Evangel, No. 4 in Class 3A, broke the game open in the second quarter as the Eagles flew past the Giants 63-12 to open District 1-3A play at Rodney Duron Field Friday night.
Coach Byron Dawson’s defense made it easy for the Eagles’ offense as the defense shut down Green Oaks with minus 74 yards rushing. Dawson credited defensive stars Chris Bradley, Jerry Tillery and Johnaton Jones. Santos Ramirez also had two interceptions.
“Our defensive guys have been playing well all year,” Dawson said. “We got some three and outs to give the offense some short fields.”
While the defense was doing its job, Evangel got 139 yards rushing and three touchdowns from Jordan Murphy. Backup Alex Elam came off the bench to add another 65 yards on the ground.
“We made a few mistakes on offense but I like the way we ran the football,” Dawson said. “Everybody knows we can pass it so I was proud of our running game.”
Evangel (4-1) jumped to a 7-0 lead on a 20-yard pass from quarterback Connor Curry to wide receiver Jared Cornelius. That came with 7:14 left in the first quarter.
The Eagles made it 14-0 on a 22-yard burst by Murphy up the middle a few minutes later in the first.
However, it was the second quarter Evangel heated things up as the Eagles put 31 more points on the scoreboard.
Murphy started things with a 17-yard TD run and followed that with a 45-yard TD scamper.
Ramirez made sure the defense got points on the board when he picked off a Jaylon Carey pass and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown.
That wasn’t the last big play of the quarter. Cornelius fielded a punt at his own 48. At first, he looked as though he wouldn’t pick up the ball. Then, Cornelius turned the defenders around with a 52-yard touchdown.
Hunter Creasy finished off Evangel’s first half scoring with a 29-yard field goal as the Eagles led 45-0 at halftime.
Dawson’s defense came up big again early in the third quarter when Bradley tackled Veonta Keith in the end zone for a safety. His defense added another safety in the fourth quarter.
Cornelius added a five-yard TD reception and reserve AJ Allen ran six yards to the end zone for another.
Cadarius White got Green Oaks’ its first points late in the third quarter with a one yard run. Ralphielle Johnson added another one with a 7-yard pass reception.
Carey completed 11 of 29 passes for 152 yards but was intercepted three times. Curry and George combined for 130 yards passing on the Evangel side.