Score: Evangel 28, #10 Grand View 20
Records: Evangel (2-0); Grand View (0-1)
Location: Ozark, Mo. | Tiger Stadium
OZARK, Mo. – The defense for the Evangel University football team stepped up big in a 28-20 upset of 10th-ranked Grand View Saturday afternoon in college football action.
It was fitting that back-to-back sacks helped seal the victory for Evangel that forced three turnovers and scored a touchdown on special teams.
The special team's score came at the start of the fourth quarter when Maurice Downey blocked a 26-yard field goal attempt to end a Vikings Drive. However, the play continued when Jeno Bottinelli scooped the loose ball and raced 80-yards for the touchdown to put Evangel ahead 28-13.
Grand View would answer with a quick 4-play 75-yard drive to pull back within eight points. But again it was the defense stepping up with a strip inside the 10-yard line and an interception from Andrew Poppen that stopped big drives by the visitors.
Evangel jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter when Cam Hardesty connected with Noah Pierce in the corner of the end zone. After the Vikings scored on an interception return, Evangel marched back down on a 4-play 67-yard drive that was capped by a 2-yard run from Terry Robinson.
Zayne Kyser would also run in another touchdown for the Crusaders in the third quarter to put Evangel up 21-10 with 11:31 left in the third quarter. Kyser finished with 37-yards on 15 carries while Darrius Lee carried 10 times for 45 yards.
The Evangel defense haunted Grand View in the red zone as the Vikings made four trips inside the 20-yard line but came away with just six points on two field goals.
Sam Morton led Evangel with14 tackles and two sacks while Telacey Wilder added 10 tackles and 3.5 tackles for a loss. Taylor Green also sacked the Vikings twice as he and Morton combined for four of the seven sacks for Evangel.
St. George's Donuts is a proud sponsor of wins over ranked opponents and provide donuts for sweet wins over nationally ranked teams.
Evangel ends its season-opening homestand against yet another nationally ranked team when No. 12 Benedictine visits Tiger Stadium. Kickoff next Saturday is scheduled for 6 p.m.
For the latest information on Evangel Athletics, follow the Crusaders on Facebook at Facebook.com/EUAthletics 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.