Score: Evangel 17, #9 Grand View 37
Records: Evangel (0-1); Grand View (1-0)
Location: Des Moines, Iowa | Williams Stadium
DES MOINES, Iowa – The Evangel football team was unable to hang on to a lead against 9th-ranked Grand View Thursday night, falling 37-17 in the season opener for both teams.
The Crusaders jumped out in front with a 10-play 71-yard drive that was capped by a Brett Grelle touchdown run from 1-yard out. Evangel outrushed Grand View in the first half before the Vikings were able to control the clock in the second half.
The Vikings scored just one minute later with a 67-yard strike and added another 64-yard touchdown toss after a quick three-and-out by Evangel.
Junior Derek Roberts kept Evangel within striking distance just before halftime with a 25-yard field goal. The short kick pulled the Crusaders within three, 13-10 at the half.
However, trouble hit for Evangel as Grand View scooped a fumble on the opening drive for the Crusaders with a 58-yard fumble recovery for a score. The fumble was one of just two turnovers for Evangel as both teams finished with a pair.
Evangel was able to get one more score with 5:26 left in the third quarter when Cam Hardesty found Chance Smith down the sideline. Smith raced in from 38-yards out to pull Evangel back within three at 20-17.
Grand View was able to take advantage of the second Crusader turnover with two long drive of more than 60 yards and nearly four minutes each.
Zayne Kyser led Evangel with 109 yards rushing for his first 100-yard game. The Crusaders tallied 162-yards total on the ground and finished with 335 yards of total offense while the Vikings tallied 486 yards.
Hardesty finished 16-of-30 for 167-yards and one touchdown in his first collegiate start. Smith led the Crusaders with the touchdown catch and 72 yards receiving on five catches. Dallas Hester also caught five passes for 43 yards, while Brady Collier and Jansen Acklin each two passes.
Evangel heads back on the road next weekend as the Crusaders visit Benedictine. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.
For the latest information on Evangel Athletics, follow the Crusaders on Facebook at Facebook.com/EvangelAthletics or go to www.EvangelAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading the Go Evangel Front Row App at EvangelAthletics.com/FrontRow available on Google Play and in the App Store.