Evangel Kicks Off Season Saturday

By Dan Lucy | dlucy@kolr10.com

Published 08/20 2014 06:02PM

Updated 08/20 2014 07:43PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo--The Evangel Crusader football team will kick off the 2014 season Saturday night at Arizona Christian.

It's a 1,300 mile trip to Phoenix to face the Firestorm who are in their first year of existence.

That's of no concern for Crusader coach Brenton Illum

He's more concerned about his own team as it gets ready for the new season.

Evangel was 4-6 last year and was picked to finish sixth in the NAIA's Heart of America preseason poll.

The Crusaders return 30 letterman and 14 starters from last year's team.

And Illum will be leaning on that experience.

"After you've been here for awhile, that continuity is so magical," said coach Brenton Illum.  "When guys know what to do without being coached.  This program runs itself in so many ways now.  Especially on the defensive side, we have so many older guys.  Guys who have been contributing for us for a long time.  They know what we expect."

"We have good depth.  We have a lot of experience sophomores and seniors.  And alot of incoming freshman so we'll have a good defense this year.  I feel good about it.  We had a good camp and everybody's ready.  We have good players coming back so everyone's ready to play," said linebacker Kenny Bennett.    

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