by Ray Butler // 14-0Productions.com
The fascination with ‘streaks’ in sports is timeless. There has always been something special about following a winning streak. Day after day, week after week, year after year, we love them. Couple that with Louisiana high school football and you have greatness defined. We have many great teams and schools that have done extraordinary things over the years.
In 1991, as a member of the Oak Grove football team, we had just beaten Plain Dealing 35-8 in the second round of the state playoffs, when we heard we would playing Evangel Christian Academy out of Shreveport. Who? That’s what we said. They had just won their first playoff game against Newellton 26-20. Their school was only a couple of years old and had just won their first district championship going undefeated through district play. Rumors began to spread of a QB that stood 10 yards behind his offensive line and threw it all over the place. We won the game easily but Evangel impressed people with their style and their quarterback named ‘Booty.’ Evangel was on the map.
Fast forward to 2020. In the middle of a global pandemic, an obscure box score in the newspaper catches your eye. 5-0 Northwood (SH) 42 at 0-5 Evangel 23. “At Evangel! At Rodney Duron Field!” Everyone saw it coming, but no one could still really understand it. The longest home district win streak in the nation had just come to an end. 81 straight. That’s how many ECA had won since they lost to Plain Dealing on November 2, 1990. Back then, Plain Dealing’s QB John Johnson accounted for 5 TD’s in a 70-20 blowout. The Eagles had 9 turnovers that night. But since then, it was all Evangel. Over that time period in home district games, Evangel has averaged about 45 points per game and gave up less than 2 touchdowns a game. Their alumni list could fill an NFL roster. Their trophy case sports 14 state championship trophies.
Evangel came close at a shot to tie the state record for most consecutive state football titles in 2000. The Eagles had won 4 state championships in a row from 1996-1999 but lost to St. Augustine 32-22 in the Quarterfinals. John Curtis owns that record by winning 5 straight titles from 2004-2008. Edna Karr has won 4 in a row and is going for number 5 this year. Evangel also won 60 straight ‘on the field’ games from ’96-’99 but had to forfeit because of the use of an ineligible player. So, John Curtis Curtis owns the streak of most consecutive wins at 43, doing it twice from 1979-1982 and again from 1983-1986.
The loss to Northwood ends an amazing run by the Eagles that I’m not sure will be duplicated ever in our state. Rumors about the future of Evangel continue to swirl, but for now, we’ll just sit back and appreciate the ‘streak’ that was ‘built on the rock’ and lasted 30 years.