WEST MONROE – Evangel Christian Academy of Shreveport won the West Monroe 7-on-7 Tournament on Saturday. The Eagles went 6-1 overall in the two-day tournament and defeated top-seeded LaGrange High School 38-8 on Don Shows Field at Rebel Stadium.
“I was pleased with our level of focus,” Evangel coach Byron Dawson said. “We lost to LaGrange (Friday) and we had to overcome adversity and beat them twice (Saturday).”
Evangel, the No.4 seed, beat Ouachita 31-16 in the second round after getting a first-round bye. The Eagles beat LaGrange in the third round 27-19.
Dawson commended the West Monroe coaching staff for putting on a tournament that great teams want to be a part of. Evangel has now won the West Monroe 7-on-7 two of the past three years.
“(West Monroe) coach (Jerry) Arledge and his staff do a great job putting on a first class tournament,” Dawson said. “It is good competition with teams here and from down south.”
Dawson said his staff focuses on plays they will run during the regular season, but the biggest lesson during 7-on-7 play is overcoming adversity.
“It is great time to work on the fundamentals for Friday nights,” Dawson said. “It teaches them about having a short memory and bouncing back.”
Neville beat OCS Gold 29-21 in overtime in the third round to get a chance at Evangel. OCS Gold was then eliminated by Ouachita, 20-11.
Evangel beat the defending Class 4A champions 22-21 in one of the best games of the entire tournament.
“We got past Neville in a tight game,” Dawson said. “We were able to get some breaks coming out of that. Some teams had to play through while we got to rest.”
LaGrange worked its way out of the consolation bracket after that first loss to Evangel to get to the finals. LaGrange beat Southern Lab 27-9 and Neville 27-18 to advance.
Ouachita beat Richwood 31-10 in the first round before losing to Evangel. West Monroe Blue beat Pineville 28-26 before falling to LaGrange 35-10. WM Red lost to Alexandria 24-14 in the first round and Ouachita 30-18. Alexandria lost two in a row against OCS Gold, 30-6, and Southern Lab 21-12.