Score: #10 Evangel 20, Culver-Stockton 17
Records: Evangel (5-0); Culver-Stockton (2-3)
Location: Ozark, Mo. | Tiger Stadium
OZARK, Mo. – Another game coming down to the wire saw the 10th-ranked Evangel football team hold off Culver-Stockton, 20-17, Saturday in Heart of America Athletic Conference crossover game.
The Crusaders forced four turnovers and blocked two field goals to aid in the victory on Saturday. The final coming with 13 seconds left in the game as Dalton Taylor managed to get a piece of the football for the second time in the win.
Evangel had gotten on the board in the first quarter capping a 13-play 68-yard drive that took six minutes. Cameron Hardesty found Noah Pierce in the flat and Pierce broke a tackle before finding the end zone to give the Crusaders a 7-0 lead.
Culver-Stockton answered in the second quarter with a five play 80-yard drive with a 37-yard pass and catch at the 13:52 mark.
The Crusaders would jump out to a 13-7 lead when Hardesty found a wide open Brady Collier for his second touchdown of the game. Hardesty finished 15 of 28 for 146 as Culver-Stockton blocked the PAT and ran it back for a 2-point conversion score to cut the lead to 13-9 at halftime.
Darrius Lee earned his second consecutive 100-yard rushing game with 114 yards on 32 carries. Lee gave Evangel the lead after Hardesty found Dallas Hester across the middle of the field for a 29-yard reception.
Raul Avila helped force the Wildcats to drive the length of the field multiple times in the fourth quarter as the sophomore averaged 45 yards per punt and placed four inside the 20-yard line.
Culver-Stockton would make the game interesting when Jordan Grant found the end zone from 2-yards out to cap a 2:30 drive in eight plays.
After an interception and a punt, Culver-Stockton drove into Evangel territory setting up the 52-yard field goal on fourth down that was no good.
Dallas Hester caught seven passes for 77 yards to lead Evangel as six different receivers caught a pass including Pierce who had three catches for 33 yards.
Defensively, Evangel was led by Brady Dawson who finished with eight tackles and recovered a ball that hit a Wildcat defender on a punt. Andreas Moeller added seven tackles, an interception and 3.0 tackles for a loss along with three forced fumbles in the Evangel win.
Evangel starts a two-game road swing to finish Heart cross over play next Saturday at William Penn. Kickoff from Oskaloosa, Iowa is scheduled for 12 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.