Road test weekPublished 10:48pm Tuesday, September 10, 2013
This is a big week as all three area teams will take road trips Friday.
Escambia Academy travels to Monroe Academy for another game with playoff implications, Escambia County High School travels to Wilcox-Central in search of its first win and Northview looks to rebound on the road at Chipley.
Escambia Academy at Monroe Academy
Coming off a 48-7 victory over Hooper Academy, EA takes on a tough Monroe Academy team this week in a game that could decide playoff position later in the season, said Cougar coach Hugh Fountain.
“It’s a critical game,” Fountain said. “A loss could result in a road trip for the playoffs. A win could mean, for the most part, a home game in the first round.”
Beating a team like Monroe could be a tall order, because they do many things well, he said.
“They’re strong on offense, defense and special teams,” Fountain said. “That creates a big problem. We have to match their intensity level.
“We have to play with a sense of boldness. We have to get after it.”
Fountain said Monroe is more balanced than many Alabama Independent School Association teams, but stopping big running plays would be a key to success.
“You can’t let their running backs and quarterback run down the field,” he said. “You have to make them earn everything they get.”
Fountain said his team did a better job of tackling last Friday night, but would have to be even more fundamentally sound in order to beat a team like Monroe.
“Tackling is a part of good defense,” he said.
In addition, Fountain said his team’s offense would have to improve its efficiency, even despite the 48 points his team scored against Hooper.
“We still had times where we were disorganized and had too many penalties,” Fountain said.
Escambia County at Wilcox-Central
Blue Devils coach Lev Holly said he thought his team did better in a 40-18 loss in the home opener against Clarke County and showed a lot of success on offense.
“We’re starting five freshmen and 10 sophomores, so we’re going to take some bumps and bruises,” he said.
He said his team kept the game close throughout the first half until a fumble right before halftime killed the Blue Devils’ momentum.
“That was the turning point of the game,” Holly said.
He praised his team for working hard, but admitted it would take some time to build a successful program.
“They are playing tough in a rebuilding year,” Holly said. “I’m proud of them.”
Holly said Friday would be an important game for both ECHS and Wilcox. The Blue Devils, with a win, would be 1-1 in the region.
“We’ve got to come out and work hard,” Holly said. “We need to work on not putting the ball on the ground.”
Holly said even though it’s a road game, he would like to see the community come out and support the young team.
“We’re asking people to come and support us and be patient,” Holly said. “We need to let the kids know they’re doing a good job.”
Wilcox’s home record throughout its history is 143-140-8. Wilcox went winless last season, scoring only 55 points and allowing 420. ECHS went 3-7, scoring 165 points and allowing 280, according to the Alabama High School Football Historical Society website.
Northview at Chipley
Northview travels for the second-straight Friday, after coming off a 28-6 loss to Marianna last week. This week the Chiefs travel to Chipley. While Chipley is in Class 1A, the Tigers are not in Northview’s district.
NHS coach Sid Wheatley said Friday that his team can’t turn the ball over and would need to be more consistent on offense in order to be successful. In the Marianna loss, Northview committed four turnovers.