In what was a barnburner from start to finish, the Denton Calvary Lions outlasted the Greenville Christian Eagles 59-48 on Friday night at Bronco Field.
Justin Rush completed 17 of 27 passes for 253 yards and six touchdowns while rushing for another. Matt Hood had 237 all-purpose yards and four touchdown receptions. Jesse Wells, playing with a broken hand, rushed for 99 yards and a touchdown.
“It hurts,” Wells said about his hand. “But you gotta take it for the team.”
Calvary (4-2) had to survive the big plays from Greenville’s Will Martin and David Chandler, who accounted for every Eagles touchdown.
“We came out against a good team and pushed hard,” Wells said. “We pulled through whenever it came time to, and our conditioning really paid off.”
Calvary was boosted by a big pass early, as Rush found Brandon Eaton across the field for a 25-yard gain. Rush finished the drive off, finding an open field from 14 yards out for the touchdown. Drew White connected on the conversion to give the Lions the early 8-0 lead.
After forcing a four-and-out, Calvary went back to work. Feeling pressure, Rush threw it short to Hood, who found daylight for a 46-yard touchdown. The conversion was blocked, but Calvary led 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
Greenville came fighting back. On the ensuing kickoff, Chandler found a crease and returned it for a 75-yard score. The conversion hit off the upright to keep Calvary up 14-6.
A costly interception gave the Eagles great field position moments later. Chris Martin found David Chandler wide open for a 19-yard score, and Martin kicked the extra point to knot the score at 14-14.
Greenville started the second quarter with a bang, as Chandler grabbed another 19-yard pass for a touchdown. After the blocked kick, the Eagles held their first lead of the game at 20-14.
The lead was short lived, however. On the first play of the drive, Rush found Hood on a deep bomb from 45 yards out, but the kick failed to keep it tied at 20-20.
On the ensuing drive, Will Martin found room on the outside for a 45-yard TD run, and after another missed conversion, the Eagles held a slim 26-20 advantage.
The Eagles’ onside kick backfired as Calvary’s Joseph Peters grabbed the short kick and raced untouched for the touchdown to knot the score yet again.
Calvary wasn’t finished as Rush connected with Hood again before the end of the half, this time from 21 yards for a 33-26 lead in at halftime.
Greenville wasted little time at the start of the second half to pull within one at 34-33, but that was as close as Greenville would get.
Denton Calvary 59, Greenville Christian 48
D — Justin Rush 14 run (Drew White kick), 8:42
D — Rush 46 pass to Matt Hood (kick blocked), 5:16
G — David Chandler 75 kick return (kick no good), 5:01
G — Will Martin 19 pass to Chandler (Chris Martin kick), 2:56
G — W. Martin 19 pass to Chandler (kick blocked), 9:47
D — Rush 45 pass to Hood (kick no good), 9:37
G — W. Martin 43 run (kick no good), 9:19
D — Joseph Peters 45 kick return (kick no good), 9:12
D — Rush 21 pass to Hood (conversion good), 1:33
G — W. Martin 6 run (C. Martin kick), 8:28
D — Rush 13 pass to Brandon Eaton (conversion no good), 6:43
G — W. Martin 36 pass to Chandler (C. Martin kick), 0:57
D — Jesse Wells 45 run (White kick), 0:00
G — Chandler 47 pass to Andy Henderson (kick blocked), 9:02
D — Rush 12 pass to Hood (kick blocked), 8:09
D — Rush 15 pass to Zach Elder (kick no good), 0:07
Rushing — G: Will Martin 9-92, David Chandler 9-32, Morgan Henry 3-23, Tristan Wooten 2-4, Andy Henderson 1-2; D: Matt Hood 9-64, Justin Rush 7-42,Jesse Wells 6-99, Brandon Eaton 4-4.
Passing — G: Will Martin 16-25-0 177, David Chandler 1-1-0 47; D: Justin Rush 17-27-1 253.
Receiving — G: David Chandler 11-141, Andy Henderson 2-62, Morgan Henry 1-12, Joe Henderson 1-6, Luke Johnson 1-5, Tristan Wooten 1-(-2); D: Matt Hood 8-173, Brandon Eaton 5-52, Zach Elder 3-29, Justin Peters 1-(-3).