Cougars strength may be on defensive line

Published 7:08pm Friday, July 19, 2013

With a combination of size and speed, the Escambia Academy Cougars’ defensive line could be a lot to handle for opponents this year.

“The defensive front is an area where we’re returning a lot of experience,” said coach Hugh Fountain. “Four of the five starters are returning.”

On a relatively young team, a unit with experience is important, but more importantly, Fountain said the line is talented and has size and speed.

“What gives them a chance is they’re a decent size with decent speed,” he said.

Fountain said the Cougars will run a unconventional 5-0 defense with three down linemen and two linebackers up front.

“We feel like we can get enough people in the box to stop the run,” Fountain said. “We can get eight people in the box pretty quickly.”

The line will be anchored by James Fuqua, J.P. Sawyer and Garrett Kirk, who all started on the defensive line last year, Fountain said. Fuqua will play nose guard and runs 6-foot-2-inches and 300 pounds. Sawyer will play the will linebacker position and Kirk will play the Sam linebacker.

Other starters include Trea Lee and Mason Carraway, Fountain said. Other guys in the roatation include Trey McGhee, Cameron Murphy and Chris Colburn.

Cougars’ new defensive coordinator John Gartman praised the athletic ability of the line.

“We’ve got some talent there,” he said. “We have some guys who can play.”

Practice begins Aug. 1 with the team’s first game slated for Aug. 30 in Greenville against Fort Dale Academy.


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