The Crusaders beat Peru State 38-23 to win their first straight game and improve to 5-2 on the season and 4-1 in the Heart of America Athletic Conference.
Five teams in the HAAC are nationally ranked and all in the top 17. Missouri Valley (6-0, 5-0) is ranked third. MidAmerica Nazarene (4-2, 4-1), coming off of a narrow 30-28 loss to NCAA-I (FCS) Gardner-Webb, dropped three spots in the poll from 10th to 13th.
Baker (5-2, 4-2) is ranked #15 while Benedictine (5-2, 3-2) is #16.
Evangel players Denzel Billy and Stephen Swillum won weekly awards from the Heart of America conference for their play in Saturday’s 38-23 win over Peru State.
Denzel Billy was named the HAAC Defensive Player of the Week. The junior from Houston, Texas had a career high 17 tackles against Peru State on Saturday. 11 of his tackles came in the second half when the Crusaders held the Bobcats scoreless. Billy leads the Crusaders with 63 tackles so far this season.
Stephen Swillum was named the HAAC Special Teams Player of the Week. Swillum recovered a blocked field goal attempt and ran the ball back 85 yards for a touchdown late in the third quarter against Peru State. The Mount Vernon native’s run put the Crusaders ahead 38-23 and helped seal the win on Saturday.