SPRINGFIELD, Mo–Football coaches like to say you entertain with offense, but win with defense.

And the Evangel Valor proved that saying Saturday in their victory over Culver-Stockton.

The Valor defense had eight interceptions, a goal line stand resulting in a fumble, a blocked punt and a safety.

Evangel won 26-0.

Evangel will go to William Penn Saturday.

Valor defensive back Athanie Leeviraphan had three of those interceptions including a pick six.

He is the NAIA national defensive player of the week.

And says it felt good to bounce back with a shutout victory.

Has the oklahoma native ever had a game like that?

“No I have not. Actually, it was the first pick six of my career here. It was special, it was fun. Coach DeSoto had us in all the spots that we needed to be to be successful. And it meant a lot. We obviously have a high standard here at Evangel, especially on defense. And it was good to get back,” said Leeviraphon.

“I was proud of our kids. We wanted to bounce back and we certainly did. We played well in all three phases. Obviously and especially on defense. We were able to force ten turnovers. That’s a pretty special night,” said Evangel coach Chuck Hepola.