OZARK, Mo. — Evangel’s home opener against Grand View Thursday night marked the first collegiate football action here in the Ozarks of the fall.
For an Evangel side searching for answers after a week one loss at Culver-Stockton, however, Thursday’s matchup with the Vikings only brought more questions.
Evangel took the field in front of 50 percent capacity, no visiting fans allowed in. So Grand View quickly supplied some noise of its own.
The Vikings Dallis Flowers notched a 94-yard touchdown return on the opening kickoff sending all the momentum quickly to Grand View as the Vikings went up up 7-0 just 14 seconds in.
Evangel, meanwhile, relied on turnovers to keep the score from getting worse.
The Crusaders managed two first half interceptions, the second by Evangel’s Anthony Sanford to give the Crusaders the ball at the 22.
They would take advantage as Dyllan Decker went quarterback draw from six yards out for Evangel’s first points to make it 14-7.
Grand View’s offense answered right back, however.
Right after a 33-yard completion, the Vikings go back to the air and find Anthony Turner 41 yards on the touchdown just inside the pylon to put Grand View on top 21-7 at halftime.
The 2nd half marked more of the same as the Vikings go back to Turner who goes up and comes down with it on a 16-yard touchdown.
In the end, Evangel fell to Grand View 35-13 and falls to 0-2 on the season for the first time since 2017.
“Obviously disappointed,” Evangel Head Coach Chuck Hepola said. “Disappointed. I mean, we’ve got an excellent football team and so do they. We knew that coming in. Just disappointed with the loss, but we still have everything in front of us. We still have South Division championship opportunities for us.”
The Crusaders will look to get in the win column next on October 3rd as Evangel travels to Graceland for a 1 pm kickoff.