by Evangel Athletics
A big second half by the 18th-ranked Evangel football team propelled the Crusaders to a 22-14 victory Saturday night in Heart crossover action.
The Crusaders improved to 2-0 on the season behind a pair of fumble recoveries in the second half that setup the go-ahead score and the only fourth quarter touchdown.
Evangel opened the game with a 7-play, 73-yard drive that was capped off by a Zeke Kuyawa to Haaken Friend touchdown pass. Kuyawa finished with two touchdown passes and 121-yards through the air, while also rushing for 23-yards on 10 carries.
Peru State would answer with its own 13-play, 80-yard drive finishing with a 5-yard touchdown plunge from Noah Kasbohm. The Bobcat quarterback finished with just 16-yards rushing but carried 14 times for the option minded visitors.
The final minutes of the second quarter saw an errant snap on fourth down fly by the Peru State punter. However, before a Crusader could fall on the football, it was pushed out of the back of the end zone for a safety giving Evangel a 9-7 lead at half.
The Bobcats would take a brief lead out of the locker room with a 4-play, 62-drive that saw Kasbohm find Joey Dominguez for a 22-yard touchdown strike.
The lead for Peru State would be short lived though as Evangel marched back down the field with 8:48 left in the third quarter Dyllan Decker would score on a quarterback sneak from the 1-yard line. Decker came in after Kuyawa’s helmet came off on the previous play forcing the junior to the sideline for one play.
After a back and fourth third quarter, Evangel would all but ice the game with Kuyawa found Sam Buckner in the corner of the end zone for his second touchdown pass. Buckner had to pull the ball away from the Peru State defender for his first collegiate touchdown.
Will Anoa’I joined in with nine tackles and 1.5 tackles for a loss as the Crusaders finished with eight tackles for a loss as a team. The run heavy Bobcats finished with 150 yards on the ground and just 3.7 yards per play.