Evangel tops Wildcats

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Fourth-quarter surge lifts Eagles past East St. John, 62-42

RESERVE — Evangel Christian went on a 27-7 run in the fourth quarter and as a result advanced to the semifinal round of the state Class 5A playoffs after a 62-42 win over host East St. John.

The Eagles, who will face the Slidell Tigers next week, were virtually unstoppable on offense last night.

It was the Evangel Christian defense, however, that turned the tide in the decisive final period.

With the score deadlocked at 35 apiece, Evangel’s Matt Kreamer intercepted a Ryan Perrilloux pass on the first play of the fourth quarter and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown.

Minutes later with East St. John driving, Derrick Williams picked off Perrilloux and returned the ball 65 yards for a score that put the Eagles ahead, 49-35.

Evangel Christian added two more unanswered touchdowns to go up 62-35 before the Wildcats scored their final points of the game on a Perrilloux touchdown pass to Roy James in the closing seconds of the contest.

Perrilloux had another strong game last night for East St. John as he completed 28 of his 46 pass attempts for 343 yards. He was intercepted twice and had three touchdown passes. The Wildcats standout also rushed for three touchdowns to spearhead his team’s offensive attack.

Perrilloux’s favorite target last night was Louis Lee, who had 10 receptions for 159 yards and one touchdown. Ricky Dixon had a stellar game as well for the Wildcats as he recorded six catches for 70 yards and he tallied two touchdowns.

Evangel Christian, meanwhile, was paced by quarterback Denny Duron. The Eagles field general threw for 181 yards and three touchdowns and he rushed for 103 yards and one score.

Billy Barefield carried the ball 13 times for 127 yards and three touchdowns to pace the Evangel Christian ground game.

East St. John got on the scoreboard first when Perrilloux ran the ball in from five yards away midway through the opening period.

Evangel Christian, however, answered in a big way before the stanza was through.

On the Eagles ensuing drive after the Wildcats score, they marched 70 yards in just four plays for a touchdown. Barefield rushed for 35 and 19 yards on back-to-back plays, the latter going for a score, to put Evangel Christian within one point of its foe, 7-6.

After a East St. John punt, The Eagles took the ball at their own 23-yard line and 14 seconds later, they had their first lead of the ballgame. Duron held onto the ball on a quarterback keeper, bolted through the Wildcats defense and went the entire 77 yards for the Evangel Christian touchdown. Barefield ran in the two-point conversion to put the Eagles ahead, 14-7.

The two teams traded touchdowns throughout the second quarter, and at the halftime intermission, Evangel Christian held its seven-point advantage, 28-21.

Perrilloux ran in an eight-yard score with 6:08 in the second quarter to knot the contest at 14 apiece and later hit Lee for a 32-yard scoring strike on a fourth-and-12 play.

The Perrilloux-to-Lee score tied the game at 21-21 with just under two minutes left in the half, but that was plenty of enough time for the Eagles to find the endzone once again.

After a couple of incomplete passes, Duron hit Chase Jennings for a 36-yard gain and later found Renaldo Graves in the corner of the endzone for an eight-yard touchdown pass.

East St. John continued to battle back in the second half. Perrilloux hit Dixon for a 10-yard score with 7:48 remaining in the third quarter to once again tie the game, this time at 28-28.

After another Evangel Christian score in the period, Perrilloux and Dixon hooked up for an 11-yard strike that tied the contest at 35-35 heading into the decisive fourth period.