By SCOTT ANDERSON, Journal Sports
Evangel used a few quick strikes and otherwise stayed out of its own way better than Woodlawn did for a 39-12 victory Friday night at Lee Hedges Stadium.
”This game isn’t always pretty,” Evangel head coach Denny Duron said. “The idea is to come out on the winning end, and we were able to do that, despite the mistakes.”
The Eagles scored 17 seconds into the game when junior quarterback Peyton Fulghum found senior wide receiver Brayden Curry for a 60-yard touchdown pass.
“Our offensive coordinator felt like he saw something in their coverage that we would be able to take advantage of,” Duron said, “and he was able to capitalize.”
Kaigen Kent sent the ensuing kickoff to the Knights 5-yard line. Woodlawn quarterback Isaiah Kennedy was forced to scramble on the first-down play, and Evangel’s defense swarmed to tackle him in the end zone for a safety.
Evangel missed a chance to extend the lead in the first quarter when Kent missed a 25-yard field goal wide left.
Woodlawn got on the board with 14 seconds left in the first quarter when Kennedy hit Josh Dotson for a 72-yard touchdown pass.
On Evangel’s next drive, Woodlawn’s Donovon Reliford was injured tackling Fulghum on a 16-yard run. Reliford did not return to the game and was on crutches on the sideline the rest of the night.
“He’s a heck of a player,” head coach Thedrick Harris said. “We’re praying for him that he’s OK.”
A short time later, Fulghum extended Evangel’s lead with a 63-yard touchdown pass to Tyreek Robinson. Fulghum added two more touchdowns on a pair of 1-yard runs as Evangel took a 30-6 lead into halftime.
Woodlawn’s defense had its own big play late in the third quarter as Xavier Macon intercepted a pass from Fulghum and returned it 47 yards to the endzone.
Fulghum added one more long touchdown strike in the fourth quarter, hitting his brother, Parker Fulghum, for a 50-yard score.
As in the first quarter, Evangel’s defense came back and scored when Damari Drake tackled Quintin Wilson in the end zone.
Both teams suffered from self-inflicted mistakes throughout the night with penalties, bad snaps and spotty special teams play.
“We hurt ourselves,” Harris said. “We’ve got to develop some character as a program. We’ve got to develop some toughness. I am not going to make any excuses for this game. But we should have played better, and it should have been closer.”
Duron agreed, but said not all the mistakes were bad.
“A lot of mistakes on both sides,” Duron said. “We can correct that. I think we did a lot of good things, too. We ran the ball well. Our offensive line did a good job. We had a lot of aggressive penalties. We don’t worry so much about those. We had a lot of second-and-25s, and that’s hard to overcome.”
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Evangel 39, Woodlawn 12
Score by quarters
Evangel | 9 | 21 | 0 | 9 | — 39
Woodlawn | 6 | 0 | 6 | 0 | — 12
ECA — Brayden Curry 60 pass from Peyton Fulghum (PAT good)
ECA — Safety
W — Josh Dotson 72 pass from Isaiah Kennedy (2-pt conversion failed)
ECA — Tyreek Robinson 63 pass from Fulghum (PAT good)
ECA — Fulghum 1 run (PAT good)
ECA — Fulghum 1 run (PAT good)
W — Xavier Macon 47 int return (2-pt conversion failed)
ECA — Parker Fulghum 50 pass from Peyton Fulghum (PAT good)
ECA — Damari Drake tackle in end zone for safety
Rushing: ECA, Garrett Burns 12-110; Woodlawn, Quintin Wilson: 5-8.
Passing: ECA, Peyton Fulghum 9-21-0, 226 yards, 3 TDs; Woodlawn, Kennedy 15-25-0, 149 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Woodlawn, Josh Dotson: 1-72 yards, 1 TD