Score: #8 Evangel 28, William Penn 14
Records: Evangel (6-0); William Penn (2-4)
Location: Oskaloosa, Iowa | Lacey Complex
OSKALOOSA, Iowa – Another heart-racing finish saw the 8th-ranked Evangel football team stay unbeaten with a 28-14 victory at William Penn on Saturday afternoon.
The Crusaders took the lead with just over five minutes left in the fourth quarter when Cameron Hardesty found Brady Collier behind the secondary. Collier's catch set up a 1-yard sneak by Hardesty to put Evangel up 21-14 after a two-point conversion was successful.
After a bad snap on fourth down by William Penn, Evangel took over deep in Statesmen territory with three minutes left in the game. However, the Crusaders pushed the lead to a pair of scores when Zeke Kuyawa carried it in on a bootleg from 26-yards out.
Evangel finished with a season-high 405 yards of total offense in the win as Hardesty and Darrius Lee started the scoring in the first quarter. Hardesty found Lee for a 25-yard touchdown to cap an eight play 75-yard opening drive.
After a three-and-out by the Statesmen, an interception by William Penn would put them on the board and take a 7-6 lead.
The William Penn lead would hold through halftime until Hardesty found Noah Pierce all alone for a 9-yard touchdown. Pierce, who was handling the kicking duties for Evangel knocked through the extra point to give the Crusaders a 13-7 lead with 7:11 left in the third quarter.
Hardesty finished 17 of 26 for 236 through the air with two touchdown passes. Collier led the receiving corps with five catches for a season-high 111 yards, two of the catches helping set up both second-half touchdowns for Evangel.
William Penn scored its second touchdown with 12:26 left in the game to finish an eight play 39-yard drive that was kept alive by a pass interference call in the end zone.
The Evangel defense held the Statesmen to 170 yards of total offense as the Crusaders did not have a takeaway for just the second time this season.
Josh Keys, Jeno Bottinelli and Sam Morton led the Evangel defense with eight tackles each. Morton and Keys each added 0.5 sacks and tackle for a loss. Bottinelli also had one official pass breakup but played a key role when the Statesmen were forced to pass in the final quarter.
Lee led Evangel with 77 yards rushing on 18 carries while Kuyawa added 67 yards on the ground and Zayne Kyser finished with 31 yards rushing.
Evangel will head back to Iowa next Saturday to close out Heart Crossover action at Graceland. Kickoff from Lamoni, Iowa is scheduled for 2 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.