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Seven EHS players score in 54-6 thrashing

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By Tommie Kendall

Steve Frommeyer tried to spread things out against Evangel Christian on Saturday, but the long-time Eminence football coach didn't expect things to go as smooth as it did.

When the four quarters came to an end, 20 different Eminence players made tackles, 12 ran the football and seven reached the end zone. The lopsided eight-man game left Eminence ahead 54-6, which improved its record to 5-5 and dropped Evangel to 0-7.

"We decided to spread things out and let everyone have a chance," Frommeyer explained. "It was a good opportunity for our younger kids to get in the game."

Eminence hosted Evangel three weeks ago, when the Warriors came away with a 54-8 win. This time, in repeat fashion, it was Evangel's homecoming, senior day and final game of the season.

"We had a similar approach," Frommeyer said about the two games. "We just ran lots of kids in and out, and gave everyone touches."

By the time the first quarter expired, Eminence was already in front 24-0. Dre Banta scored on a 12-yard run, T.J. Cooper scored on a 50-yard run, Isiah Durrett picked up an Evangel fumble and ran the ball 31 yards into the end zone and Shaun Hamlin crossed the goal line on a 3-yard carry from the quarterback position. The Warriors played their junior varsity team on the two-point conversion attempts during the game, which resulted in 0-9 in PAT attempts.

During the second quarter, Nathan Hall picked up an Evangel Christian fumble and ran the ball 14 yards for a touchdown, while Ed Berry caught an 18-yard pass from Banta to put Eminence ahead 36-0 at the half.

During the second half, Berry caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Banta, Nelson Hedges ran the ball 65 yards into the end zone and Berry ran the ball 30 yards for another touchdown. Evangel scored its lone touchdown midway through the fourth quarter on a 45-yard pass play.

Eminence finished with 282 rushing yards, while Banta was a perfect four-of-four passing for 108 yards. Evangel, on the other hand, passed the ball for 49 yards and had just 11 yards on the ground.

"Our players did a great job of supporting each other no matter who was in the game or who was getting the ball," Frommeyer said. "They were really being a team against Evangel."

Defensively, Durrett had a team-high seven tackles and Hedges added six, while a season-high 20 players made it into the stat book with tackles. Also, freshman Banta picked off his fifth pass of the season to go along with his three fumble recoveries.

But the highlight of the game came when Frankie Ayers came into the contest and ran the ball five times for 23 yards. Ayers was the team's manager last season, has been the fullback on the scouting team this season and had never played in a game before Friday night.

"Our players were really pulling for him every time he touched the ball," Frommeyer said. "It was really neat to see that."

Eminence was scheduled to play Franklin Christian of Tennessee this Friday in another eight-man game, but Franklin had to cancel for unspecified reasons. After Friday's forfeit win, Eminence will improve to 6-5 heading into the state playoffs the following Friday against Frankfort High School.

E-mail us about this story at sports@hclocal.com.