‘Everything going in right direction’ as Pike Lib defeats Evangel, 30-6

Published 12:33 am Saturday, September 20, 2014

MONTGOMERY – After a sluggish start, the Pike Liberal Arts Patriots found their rhythm and scored four touchdowns in the second half to beat Evangel Christian Academy 30-6 on Friday.

“We had a good half,” head coach Gene Allen said of the second half of the game.

Actually, Allen said, the Patriots started the game a bit flat at the start. “We came out a little over confident,” he said. “And they came out, and ran a different defense that we hadn’t prepared for this week.”

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While the Patriots held Evangel scoreless in the first half – in part thanks to key interceptions by C.J. Allen and Jarrett Jordan – the Pats were able to score only one touchdown on a 37-yard run by Adam Grice. The PAT by Rush Hixson was good, and Pike led 7-0.

“We talked about it at half time and got things worked out,” Allen said.

Patrick O’Brien ignited the spark in the second half when he forced an Evangel fumble on the opening kickoff.

“He caught the ball in mid-air and scored,” Allen said. “That was a big play. It got everything going in the right direction.”

JaMichael Jones scored the next two touchdowns, including a 72-yard run on a handoff from Hixson and 1-yard run up the middle.

In between, the Patriot defense stopped Evangel on a fourth-and-two attempt as Cameron Crowe sacked the quarterback for a 4-yard loss. “We stopped them twice when they went for it on fourth down,” Allen said.

Pike’s final score came on a 29-yard pass from freshman quarterback Reed Jinright to Marquese Christian.

“Our starting quarterback was hurt, so we let Rush (Hixon) quarterback some and when got into the spread set we put in our ninth-grade quarter, Reed (Jinright),” Allen said. “They both played pretty well.”

Jinright was 2 for 5 on the night, with one touchdown. Hixon carried for 16 yards on 7 attempts and was four-of-five on PAT for the night.

Other offensive leaders for the team were Jones with 119 yards on 11 carries and two touchdowns; Grice with 55 yards on three carries with one touchdown; and Tamaris Jamison with 20 yards on four carries.

Pike had 241 yards total offense, including 206 rushing and 35 passing. Evangel had only 153 yards, with 140 rushing and 13 passing.

Defensively, Tyler Hussey led the Patriots with seven tackles; Crowe and Jordan had six each; Sawyer McKenzie had five; Grice and Anthony Atwell had three each; and Scout Buffy, O’Brien, Jamison and Parker Eley each had two tackles.

Evangel’s only score of the game came with 1:50 left in the fourth quarter, after a 13-play drive. The missed PAT set the final score at 30-6.

“We’re just going to keep working to get better,” Allen said after the game. “We’ve got to get a few of our guys healthy – Drew Starling is out and we have a couple of other guys banged up.

“After that, we’re going to keep working on fundamentals and getting better.”

The Patriots, 4-1, will host South Montgomery Academy on Friday.