A disastrous start quickly erased any chance Evangelical Christian had at an upset in its District 2A-7 opener on Friday night.
The Sentinels allowed 149 yards of total offense and trailed 20-0 before running an offensive play en route to a 48-12 loss to visiting First Baptist.
The Lions (1-2, 1-0) recovered two pooch kicks in the first three minutes of the game to take control early.
“I was proud of the way (the team) started fast,” FBA coach Billy Sparacio said. “They were fired up and ready to go.”
Senior running back Will Spearman provided most of ECS’ highlights in the first half on the Sentinels final drive of the second quarter. Spearman rushed for 48 yards on eight carries as the Sentinels finally got their offense going and capped that drive with a 2-yard touchdown plunge with 7.3 seconds left.
Spearman finished the game with 66 rushing yards.
Sophomore quarterback Logan Pearlman scored on a 13-yard touchdown run on the game’s final play.
“It is hard to go score when you don’t have the ball,” ECS coach Tyler Gold said of his team’s frustrating start. “They are a good team…We got behind quick and it was tough to go get yards on them.”
First Baptist senior running back Jayce Howell opened the game with a 63-yard run that put the Lions at the ECS 2-yard line. Howell punched in a 2-yard touchdown run on the next play to open the game’s scoring.
Junior Joseph Sparacio capitalized off of ECS’ first fumbled kickoff with a 2-yard touchdown run that put the Lions up 14-0 and senior quarterback Julien Tirado put FBA up 20-0 after ECS fumbled another kickoff with a 9-yard touchdown run.
Tirado started in place of junior quarterback Cole Burlison, who is out indefinitely with a knee injury.
Senior Michael Ritter intercepted a pass and returned it 16 yards for a touchdown for a 27-0 lead and Howell scored his second touchdown of the first quarter on a 13-yard run to make the score 34-0 heading into the second.
Junior Rainer Schurig recovered an ECS fumble and returned it 23 yards for a touchdown and senior Keean Burlison made an acrobatic 15-yard touchdown catch on a pass that was deflected by a Sentinel defender to give First Baptist a 48-0 lead with 9:25 left in the second.
First Baptist 48, ECS 12
First Baptist 34 | 14 | 0 | 0 — 48
ECS 0 | 6 | 0 | 6 — 12
FB—Jayce Howell 2 run (Michael Ritter kick), 11:36
FB—Joseph Sparacio 2 run (Ritter kick), 9:37
FB— Julien Tirado 9 run (kick failed), 7:46
FB— Ritter 16 INT return (Ritter kick), 2:26
FB—Howell 13 run (Ritter kick), 7.8 seconds
FB— Rainer Schurig 23 fumble return (Ritter kick), 11:09
FB— Keean Burlison 15 pass from Tirado (Ritter kick), 9:25
ECS—Will Spearman 2 run (kick failed), 7.3 seconds
ECS— Logan Pearlman 13 run (no PAT attempted), 0:00
Passing—FB, Julien Tirado 2-6, 31 yards, TD, Mason Dean 1-2, 13 yards; ECS, Logan Pearlman 6-18, 53 yards
Rushing—FB, Jayce Howell 6-106, Joseph Sparacio 3-26, Julien Tirado 5-32, Mason Dean 8-10, Austin Edie 7-49; ECS, Logan Pearlman 4-47, Will Spearman 14-66, Mark Fuchs 11-0, Correy Massey 4-(minus 10), Luke McDaniel 1-(minus 13), Judson Turley 1-8
Receiving—FB, Damon Hoge 1-13, Drake Woods 1-16, Keann Burlison 1-15; ECS—Judson Turley 1-23, Correy Massey 4-18, Franco Joseph 1-12