Lights outPublished 12:50am Saturday, September 7, 2013
The Escambia Academy Cougars literally played “lights out” Friday night, en route to a 48-7 win over visiting Hooper Academy.
Leading 41-0, the Cougars took an early halftime break when the stadium lights at Bachelor Field went out. The lights came back on when the break ended.
“That was a great first half of football,” EA coach Hugh Fountain said. “When you play like that you deserve to win.”
The Cougars crushed the Colts with 269 yards rushing on 34 carries. The ground attack was led by Kris Brown, who ran for 73 yards on six carries. Tim Finklea carried the ball five times for 64 yards and three touchdowns, while Gordon Brooks had eight carries for 50 yards and three touchdowns.
Quarterback Brett Gorum went 2-for-4 for 16 yards and an interception in the win.
“We came back out and executed,” Fountain said.
The Cougar defense played well, only allowing Hooper runners 114 yards on 39 carries. Hooper quarterback Drew Owen threw for 39 yards and didn’t complete a pass until the second half of the game.
The Cougars wasted no time scoring, reaching pay dirt on their first possession of the game. EA capped a nine-play, 62-yard drive with a 17-yard Finklea touchdown. Garrett Kirk’s extra point was good and EA led 7-0 with 6:42 left in the first quarter.
After the defense forced a Colts’ turnover on downs, the Cougar offense got the ball back at the opposing 18-yard line.
After runs of 6 yards and 5 yards by J.P. Sawyer and Brett Gorum, respectively, Brooks trotted into the end zone from 5 yards out. Kirk’s kick was good and EA led 14-0 with 3:18 left in the first.
A Hooper returner muffed the kickoff and EA recovered on the Colts’ 17-yard line. After a 2-yard run by Sawyer, a false start penalty set the Cougars back at the 20 with a second-and-13.
Sawyer picked up 7 yards on the ground before Gorum completed a pass to Kevin Gumapac for 8 yards. Finklea scored from 5 yards out and the Kirk kick was good to increase the Cougar lead to 21-0 with 1:08 left in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Brooks added another touchdown with a 16-yard run. Kirk’s kick was no good and EA led 27-0 with 5:38 left before halftime.
The Colts lost two yards on a run before Owen tossed three-straight incomplete passes to turn the ball over on downs.
The Cougars took possession and immediately scored on a Brooks run from 19 yards out. Kirk converted the extra point and EA led 34-0 with 4:23 left in the half.
After another turnover on downs for the Colts, the Cougars scored on a 35-yard Finklea run. Kirk’s kick was good and EA led 41-0 with 2:44 left in the first half.
Mason Carraway sacked Owen on the ensuing Colts drive before the power went out at Bachelor Field and the officials called the teams in for halftime.
Hooper answered during the first offensive drive of the third quarter. Taylor carried the ball five times and racked up 51 yards before Owen found Taylor Cambell for a touchdown. Ray Roberts converted the extra point and the Cougars’ lead was cut to 41-7.
The ensuing kickoff rolled past Brown before he picked it up at the 2-yard line and ran it all the way back for a touchdown. Kirk converted the kick and EA took a 48-7 lead with 7:06 left in the third.
EA continued to move the ball against Hooper, but neither team scored for the rest of the game. Tadd Huskey picked off an Owen throw in the fourth quarter.
The win improved EA to 2-1 on the season with a trip to Monroeville and a battle against Monroe Academy looming for the Cougars. The Colts fell to 0-3.