Mt. Juliet Christian comes from behind to defeat Ezell-Harding

Staff Reports • Oct 12, 2018 at 10:43 PM

NASHVILLE — Mt. Juliet Christian continued to show a big-time propensity to perform at its best when the chips are down.

The Saints rallied from a 15-point halftime deficit on the road Friday night, getting 195 rushing yards and two touchdowns from Darius Hylick as MJCA beat Ezell-Harding 28-21.

Hylick also came up with the game-clinching defensive play, forcing an Eagles fumble in the final two minutes and then helping the offense get a pair of first downs to run out the clock.

MJCA is 5-2, 3-1 in Div. II-Class A. It was the third time this season the Saints have won a game by a one-score margin: they also own narrow wins over Clay County and Middle Tennessee Christian.

The Saints close their regular season with a home game next week against Grace Baptist before going to Donelson Christian for their finale.

The first quarter actually couldn't have gone any better for the Saints. MJCA's defense forced a three-and-out, then drove right down the field behind the running of Hylick, who scored a 1-yard run to give his team a 6-0 lead.

MJCA then recovered an onside kick, and proceeded to march into Ezell territory. But the Saints fell short on a fourth-and-4, and the game seemed to turn right there.

Ezell-Harding (3-5, 1-3) went right downfield and drove 88 yards, with Kadarius Price scoring on a 2-yard run. The extra point gave the Eagles a 7-6 lead.

An interception moments later gave the Eagles the ball at MJCA 24, and Ezell-Harding scored moments later on a 1-yard touchdown pass from Derek Griffin to Jesse Thompson.

Griffin scrambled for an 11-yard score with 32 seconds left in the half, giving his team a 21-6 halftime lead.

But in the second half, MJCA had a 178-68 advantage in yardage, and used it to rally.

Four plays into the second half, Christian Link hit Logan Collier with a 34-yard touchdown pass, cutting the margin to 21-14.

The next sequence was much more telling. After a penalty and a sack contributed to a fourth-and-14, Link dropped back and hit Jack Crouch for a 28-yard touchdown pass, tying the game at 21.

After MJCA recovered a fumble on the first play of the fourth quarter, Hylick ran for a 36-yard touchdown three plays later. With 9:37 left in the game, it seemed unlikely that would be the extent of the scoring.

But the Saints forced two more turnovers -- including the one by Hylick -- to secure the win. It was their fourth straight win over Ezell-Harding.


Mt. Juliet Christian 28, Ezell-Harding 21

Mt. Juliet Christian    6          0          15       7—28

Ezell-Harding0          21       0          0—21

First Quarter

MJCA—Hylick 1 run (run failed), 6:57

Second Quarter                                 

EH—Price 2 run (Hernandez kick), 9:57               

EH—Thompson 1 pass from Griffin (Hernandez kick), 4:00                   

EH—Griffin 11 run (Hernandez kick), 0:32

Third Quarter

MJCA—Collier 34 pass from Link (Hylick run), 10:04

MJCA—Crouch 28 pass from Link (Branim kick), 1:43

Fourth Quarter

MJCA—Hylick 36 run (Branim kick), 9:37

Team Statistics

            MJCA   EH

First downs    17       15

Rushes-Yards            46-240           25-112

Passing Yards            68       116

Passes5-10-1            11-17-1

Punts  1-33.02-32.5

Fumbles-Lost0-0      2-2

Penalties-Yards         4-30    6-49

Individual Statistics

RUSHING—MJCA, Hylick 31-195, Collier 6-46, Curtis 2-5, Link 7-(-6). Ezell-Harding, Calloway 10-53, Price 5-33, Crues 4-4, Griffin 6-22.

PASSING—MJCA, Link 5-10-1-68. Ezell-Harding, Griffin 10-16-1-113, Calloway 1-1-0-3.

RECEIVING—MJCA, Collier 3-38, Crouch 1-28, Hylick 1-2. Ezell-Harding, Crues 4-69, Hunt 3-29, Thompson 3-15, Griffin 1-3.

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