MT. JULIET -- Mt. Juliet Christian had one of those eight-minute stretches it would just as soon forget Friday night.
Visiting Ezell-Harding scored 17 points in the first eight minutes of the second quarter as the Eagles held on for a 24-6 victory over the Saints in an East-Middle District game at Suey Field.
MJCA's Rik Van Mali threw for 165 yards and the Saints' only touchdown, but it wasn't enough to dig his team out of a big early deficit.
Ezell-Harding (2-3) got on the board first when Ryan Caldwell scored on a 25-yard run five minutes into the game.
The Eagles took that 7-0 lead into the second quarter, and added to it on a field goal. Then Caldwell's passing took over.
Caldwell, who threw for 162 yards, hit Rashawn Perry for a 51-yard scoring pass with 7:15 left in the first half, and then added a 42-yarder to Perry three minutes later.
That made it 24-0.
But MJCA (1-3, 0-1) hung in. Van Mali put the Saints on the scoreboard with 18 seconds left in the half, hitting Zack Jones for a 5-yard score.
Neither team scored in the second half. The Saints mustered only 55 rushing yards on 28 attempts. Elliott Lee had seven attempts for 31 yards and Jones added eight carries for 29 yards.
Van Mali completed 17 of 28 passes. Lee caught seven passes for 50 yards.
MJCA will play host to Huntland at 7 p.m. next Friday at Suey Field.
Ezell-Harding 24, Mt. Juliet Christian Academy 6
MJCA 0 6 0 0--6
Ezell-Harding 7 17 0 0--24
Ezell-Harding— Ryan Caldwell 25 run [Zach McLean kick], 7:10.
Ezell-Harding—McLean 35 field goal, 9:24.
Ezell-Harding —Rashawn Perry 51 pass from Caldwell [McLean kick], 7:15.
Ezell-Harding — Perry 42 pass from Caldwell [McLean kick], 4:07.
MJCA – Zack Jones 5 pass from Rick Van Mali [failed 2-pt conversion], :18.
First downs 13 13
Rushes-yards 32-195 28-55
Passing yards 162 165
Comp.-Att.-Int. 6-13-1 17-31-0
Penalties-yards 7-62 5-45
Fumbles-lost 1-0 0-0
RUSHING —Ezell-Harding: Ryan Caldwell 13-77, Daniel Williams 17-105, August Hill 1-7, Dre Dollar 1-3, Keller Marks 4-4, Jack Cooter 2-11, Rashawn Perry 1-1, Jason Clark 1-12. MJCA: Zack Jones 8-29, Elliott Lee 7-31, Andy Pitman 7-20, Race McLean 2-2, Rick Van Mali 1-[-12], Landon Boyd 1-[-10].
PASSING —Ezell-Harding: Caldwell 6-13-1-162. MJCA: Rick Van Mali 17-28-0-165.
RECEIVING —Ezell-Harding: Daniel Thompson 1-5, Rashawn Perry 4-132, Jason Clark 1-25. MJCA: Andy Pitman 2-16, Landon Boyd 3-56, Zack Jones 4-34, Elliott Lee 7-50, Race McLean 1-9.