Northwood expects a ‘different’ Evangel team in tonight’s district matchup

By HARRIET PROTHRO PENROD, Journal Sports

When Evangel and Northwood clash in a District 1-4A matchup tonight at Jerry Burton Memorial Stadium, there will be a big difference from last year’s game.

Maybe in the outcome, when the Falcons defeated the Eagles 26-0? We’ll have to see.

According to Northwood head coach Austin Brown, it will look different.

“They’re gonna walk off the bus and their 22 starters are gonna look better than our 22 starters,” says Brown. “They’ve definitely gotten older. Their experience of taking some beatings the last couple of years has paid off. They’ve taken their beating playing as freshmen and sophomores and now most of the team is juniors.”

Brown says the Eagles (3-2, 2-0 in 1-4A) are getting “back to their old Evangel ways” after going 0-8 in 2020 and 3-8 last season.

“We won 26-0 last year, but it was a very close game,” says Brown, whose Falcons come into tonight’s Homecoming game 3-2 overall and 1-1 in 1-4A. “We held them to 110 total yards on offense and they held us to 250. The game was about capitalizing on mistakes, and they had more mistakes than we did.”

If the season so far has been any indication, there are some things you can expect in tonight’s game – a strong performance by Evangel’s defense (their most consistent unit this season) and some fireworks from their offense.

“They’ve got a very good quarterback and wide receiver,” says Brown. “They’ve got some twin action there.”

Quarterback Peyton Fulghum is 41-of-78 for 639 yards and 6 TDs and twin brother Parker Fulghum has caught 25 passes for 418 yards and 5 TDs.

“They didn’t have very much success running against us last year,” says Brown, “but they’ve lit it up through the air this year.”

Northwood quarterback Mason Welch has also thrown well this season, connecting on 54 of 96 passes for 927 yards and 3 TDs. Marc Denison leads the Falcons in receiving with 18 catches for 488 yards and 2 TDs.

Quintavion White leads the Northwood rushing attack with 515 yards on 81 carries and 10 TDs, followed by Fabien Sanders with 44 carries for 272 yards and 2 TDs.

Adding another variable to this game will be the fact that tonight’s matchup will be Northwood’s homecoming game.

“No disrespect to Evangel,” says Brown, “but that’s the way the schedule fell. Next week we’re on fall break.”

We’ll see if that makes a difference.

Contact Harriet at sbjharriet@gmail.com

Evangel (3-2, 2-0 in 1-4A) at Northwood (3-2, 1-1)

Where: Jerry Burton Memorial Stadium

Series: Northwood 2-1

Last year: Northwood 26-0

Last week: Evangel beat Woodlawn 39-12; Northwood beat Bossier 48-12

Rankings: Evangel is receiving votes in SBJ poll; Northwood is No. 9 in Journal  Top 10 poll

LHSAA power ratings: Evangel is No. 18 in Division II Select; Northwood is No. 17 in Division I Select

Radio: Northwood (Miracle 89.1 FM)

Notables: This marks the fourth straight season the Eagles have faced the Falcons. Evangel’s lone victory came in 2019 (50-14). The Falcons took last year’s matchup, 26-0 … the Eagles see the light when it comes to home games. After the field was destroyed when the Eagles played Neville in a driving rain in the season opener, an artificial surface was ordered. The same company that finished Parkway’s new $1.1 million surface in 28 days is on the case. Head coach Denny Duron says the new field will be ready for Evangel’s Oct. 28 homecoming date against Huntington.

Not many teams have a good history playing Evangel, but it was the Falcons who ended the Eagles’ 81-game district winning streak in 2020 … head coach Austin Brown praised the play of senior rover Parker Stroope, who has 21 tackles this year. “He does everything right and is always in the right position,” Brown said. “He’s worked his butt off to get where he is now” … in the win over Bossier, the Falcons got a chance to play a group of freshmen that Brown says “is every bit as good as these seniors were when they were freshmen.”

Huntington (3-2, 2-0 in 1-4A) at BTW (0-5, 0-2)

Where: Leonard C. Barnes Stadium

Series: Huntington 12-11

Last year: did not play

Last week: Huntington beat Minden 60-28; BTW lost to North DeSoto 55-6

Rankings: Huntington is No. 8 in SBJ poll

LHSAA power ratings: Huntington is No. 18 in Division I Select; BTW is No. 34 in Division II Select

Radio: none

Notables: Head coach Stephen Dennis said, “Our level of execution last week was probably the best that it has been in a long time. We had a great offensive outing and defense executed well. We transferred a great week of practice into playing well on both sides of the ball” … Dennis was pleased with the play of offensive tackles Jabaria Scott and Quintavious Bradford, both of whom were playing different positions a year ago … senior defensive tackle Jaylon Buckner continues to be a force with 28 tackles, three sacks and five tackles for loss.  “He’s our rock up front,” Dennis said. “He’s playing out of his mind right now.”

There’s no rest for the weary as the Lions (0-5) will take on district leader Huntington this week at Leonard C. Barnes Stadium … since scoring 36 points in the second week of the season, BTW has only managed three touchdowns in the last three games.

North DeSoto (5-0, 2-0 in 1-4A) vs. Woodlawn (2-3, 1-1)

Where: Independence Stadium

Series: North DeSoto 7-2

Last year: North DeSoto 57-0

Last week: North DeSoto beat BTW 55-6; Woodlawn lost to Evangel 39-12

Rankings: North DeSoto is #8 in 4A LSWA poll

LHSAA power ratings: North DeSoto is No. 6 in Division II Non-Select; Woodlawn is No. 29 in Division II Select

Radio: none 

Notables: Woodlawn head coach Thedrick Harris told Tim Fletcher on the Tim Fletcher Show that he is still looking for a complete game out of his Knights … Woodlawn scored more points in its 38-8 win over BTW in week four than they scored combined in their four losses this season … when Harris watches film of North DeSoto he sees a team that “doesn’t make mistakes.”