Hope drops tough road game in Mississippi

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

COLUMBUS, Miss. – It’s been an interesting year for the Hope Christian Eagles through four games of the 2018 football season, and despite dropping three consecutive, I’m not sure this team isn’t having fun playing the game.

The same can be said after that third consecutive loss on Friday, Aug. 31, when the Eagles traveled to Columbus, Mississippi to take on Victory Christian looking to even their record up at 2-2.

Playing with a limited roster and with no pressure of postseason play due to being unaligned when it comes to a conference this season, Hope is playing loose and fun, which has allowed for a lot of offense in the first three games.

In this one, however, that would be a different story.

Early in the game, the host Eagles scored on its first drive of the contest to go up 8-0 in a hurry.

It didn’t take long for Hope’s Jackson Davis to answer back with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Matthew Mair, but a failed 2-point conversion left the Eagles trailing 8-6.

After Hope’s defense stepped up to get the ball back to the offense, Davis ended up throwing a pick-six, which was returned by Victory Christian to add to its lead at 14-6.

Just like they answered the first call, the Eagles were ready to bounce back with another score to, this time to tie the game. Noah Seiger took over at quarterback for Davis, but that didn’t leave Davis out of the play altogether, as he ended up on the receiving end of a 51-yard touchdown catch from Seiger.

After a successful 2-point conversion attempt, Hope had tied the game 14-14 in the second quarter.

The difference in the game, however, came shortly after when Victory scored two unanswered touchdowns before the half to take a 26-14 lead into the halftime break.

While Hope’s offense has been able to answer the call most of the season, the second half became a much more defensive game, which didn’t bode well for the Eagles, who were trying to mount a comeback.

Vcitory Christian picked up its second pick-six of the game early in the second half to extend the lead.

The only other action of the half came from Hope when Evan Key pounded in a 2-yard touchdown run, but with the score 38-20 in the late going, there wasn’t enough time for the Eagles to pull off the comeback.

Davis was the team’s leader in stats, totaling 51 yards receiving, one touchdown reception and one touchdown pass. Joshua Baize and Noah Seiger ended the night with 42 yards receiving each.

Davis also led the defense with 14 tackles, while Mair ended the night with 10 total tackles.

Hope is now 1-3 overall this season, and will have a bye week on Friday, Sept. 7, looking to right the ship in the second half of the season.