No. 10 Evangel Football Dominates on Road at MidAmerica Nazarene

No. 10 Evangel Football Dominates on Road at MidAmerica Nazarene

The Basics
: Evangel 34, MidAmerica Nazarene 10 | Box Score
Records: Evangel (7-1, 2-0); MidAmerica Nazarene (5-3, 0-2)
Location: Olathe, Kan. | ODAC 

OLATHE, Kan. — Another dominating performance from the 10th-ranked Evangel football team Saturday afternoon saw the Crusaders seal a 34-10 Heart South Division victory.

The Crusaders improved to 2-0 in Heart South Division play and 7-1 overall as they avenged a Homecoming loss to the Pioneers last year on Evangel's Homecoming. The Crusaders were not only efficient in the win but played nearly a flawless game.

"I was very pleased with the effort and execution of our team," said head coach Chuck Hepola.

Hepola also commented on the difficulty of winning on the road in the Heart.

"We limited our mistakes today and played with a lot of heart. Anytime you can get a conference win on the road against an excellent opponent then it's a great day to be a Crusader."

Saturday, the Heart Offensive Player of the Week continued his impressive second-half tossing four touchdown passes on 24 of 34 for 324 yards.

Hardesty started the Evangel scoring on the first drive for Evangel continuing their efficiency.

Sam Buckner caught the pass across the middle and out-ran the MNU secondary for a 66-yard strike. Buckner caught six passes for a career-high 150 yards.

The Crusaders extended their lead to 13-0 after Dalton Cloyd forced a fumble on a sack that was recovered by Dominic Swillum. Just three plays later Hardesty connected with Haaken Friend from 17-yards out for the score.

The defense was phenomenal again holding MidAmerica Nazarene to just 153 yards of total offense and recording three takeaways.

Swillum led the way for the Crusaders against his former team with six tackles 1.0 sack and a fumble recovery.

Evangel would take a 20-3 lead heading into halftime when Hardesty found Josh Tips from 2-yards out. The score capped an 11 play 79-yard drive that left just 34 seconds on the clock before half.

The second half was more Crusaders who finished with 411 yards of total offense and averaged 5.6 yards per play. 

Will Jackson caught the fourth touchdown pass from Hardesty with 4:39 left in the third quarter to push the lead to 27-3. Jackson caught three passes for 72 yards and was one of eight different receivers targeted by Hardesty.

The Crusaders would get another interception from Sam Morton to help set up the final Evangel touchdown. Ben Friend plunged in from the 1-yard line to finish off the 40-yard drive giving the Crusaders a 34-3 lead.

MidAmerica Nazarene added a late touchdown in the final minute to bring the final score to 34-10.

Evangel returns home for its final home regular-season game Saturday against Missouri Valley. Senior day kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. as the Crusaders continue to push for their first postseason berth since 2005.

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