Score: #11 Evangel 35, Peru State 13
Records: Evangel (4-0); Peru State (0-3)
Location: Peru, Nebraska | Oak Bowl
PERU, Neb. – The first road test of 2018 saw Evangel football power its way to a 35-13 victory over Peru State on Saturday afternoon.
The Crusaders controlled the line on both sides of the ball to start the season 4-0 for the first time since 2001. Evangel was able to hold the option attack of Peru State to just 231 yards on the ground, while Darrius Lee led the rushing attack with 152 yards and three touchdowns.
After a long touchdown run by Peru State in the second quarter, Evangel rattled off 35 straight to pull away in the win. Evangel held the Bobcats to 231 yards rushing and just 281 yards of total offense as the Crusaders finished with 396 yards of total offense.
Cameron Hardesty found Brady Collier in the end zone for his first touchdown of the season with 1:28 left before halftime. Evangel took a 14-7 lead into the locker room and then after both teams traded punts Hardesty connected with Dallas Hester to set up a 1-yard run by Lee.
Hardesty finished 13-of-27 for 141 yards as seven different Crusaders caught a pass. Collier caught three passes for 29 yards while Hester caught two for 38 yards in the win.
After a tipped punt by the Evangel special teams, the Crusaders took over with nine minutes left in the game and put the game out of reach. Lee raced 46 yards down the sideline for his third score of the game giving Evangel a 28-7 lead with 8:47 left.
Seth Cathey led the Evangel defense with seven tackles while the Crusaders finished with three sacks against the option minded Bobcats. Andrew Poppen added six tackles while five Crusaders finished with five tackles each.
Allen Taylor III also added a rushing touchdown for Evangel late in the fourth quarter to ice the game scoring from 9-yards out. Taylor added 36-yards on seven carries as Evangel out-rushed Peru State 255-231.
Evangel returns home next Saturday to host Culver-Stockton with the Heart Game of the Week. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. from Tiger Stadium.
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.