Score: #6 Evangel 26, MidAmerica Nazarene 33
Records: Evangel (8-1, 1-1); MidAmerica Nazarene (3-6, 1-1)
Location: Ozark, Mo. | Tiger Stadium
OZARK, Mo. – The 6th-ranked Evangel football team was unable to finish a fourth-quarter comeback Saturday afternoon falling 33-26 to MidAmerica Nazarene.
The Crusaders fell behind early but rallied to take a 19-13 halftime lead. MidAmerica Nazarene scored three times in the fourth quarter to build a 33-19 lead.
Cameron Hardesty found Brady Collier for a 32-yard touchdown with 1:29 left in the game but the ensuing onside kick came up in the hands of the Pioneers after a scrum for the ball. A season-high four turnovers didn't help Evangel in the season's first loss.
Evangel out gained MNU with 373 total yards of offense but was just 1-for-11 on third down while the Pioneers were 11-of-22 and 3-of-4 on fourth downs. The Pioneers also were 4-of-6 in the red zone as the Crusaders were held to just one touchdown in the red zone.
Sam Morton led the Evangel defense with 14 tackles and a fumble recovery while Andrew Poppen and Dalton Taylor added 13 and 10 tackles each. Andreas Moeller added nine tackles and 2.5 sacks in the loss.
Offensively, Evangel rushed for 97 yards as Darrius Lee led the way with 51 yards. Hardesty was 16-of-32 for 258 yards with two touchdowns and a pair of interceptions.
Collier led the Crusaders with eight catches for 97 yards and a score while Dallas Hester added four catches for 88 yards. Trey Talley also found the end zone just before halftime from 35-yards out to finish with two catches for 80 yards.
Full recap to come shortly
Evangel continues Heart South Division action on the road at Missouri Valley next Saturday before a bye week. Kickoff from Marshall, Missouri, is scheduled for 1:30 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.