MT. JULIET—Mt. Juliet Christian found itself trailing by a substantial margin Friday night in its regular-season home finale.
As it turned out, though, it was no problem for the Saints.
Rik Van Mali threw for three touchdowns and ran for a fourth as the Saints rallied from a double-digit deficit to beat Zion Christian 34-30.
MJCA (3-6) trailed 23-7 early in the second half before rallying for the victory in what could be a statement game for the Saints going into next week's finale at Donelson Christian and then heading into 2014.
"It was a great way to come back," MJCA coach Jake Roberts said. "They kids really fought hard and this was a big win for the morale of our program. They really made a statement tonight."
Van Mali completed 13 of 20 passes for 201 yards, including scoring throws to Landon Boyd, Race McLean and Elliott Lee. Lee also had 77 rushing yards on only three attempts.
Samuel Eastin ran 11 times for 92 yards to form a formidable rushing attack with Lee. Zack Jones caught five passes for 61 yards while Boyd had three catches for 79 yards.
Roberts credited the Saints' defense with getting the rally started.
"Gilbert Russ made a sack or two of their quarterback and that really got us going," Roberts said. We really started to get some motivation and momentum."
Russ finished with three sacks and a pair of fumble recoveries. Daniel Boehm had an interception and Benny Eastin had a sack.