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Monroe races past Cougars, 40-13

By Staff
The Escambia Academy Cougars were defeated at home Friday night, 40-13, as they faced the AISA consecutive win record holders, the Monroe Academy Volunteers.
The game was an emotional one as the Cougar's faced their rivals on senior night and the final game of the season. The game began after a pre-game senior football player and cheerleader parent recognition with Escambia receiving the kickoff. The Cougars were quickly forced to punt, giving Monroe its first possession of the game. The Volunteers scored on the possession, making the score 7-0 after only four minutes of play. This would be the end if the scoring for the first quarter.
In the second quarter Escambia had a good drive including several long pass plays to Robert Hardy and culminating in a perfect fifty-five yard touchdown pass from Dustin Roberts to Jace Beasley. The PAT was blocked, making the score 7-6, Monroe.
Monroe took over the game at this point. The Volunteers would put up twenty-seven points in this quarter, completely blowing away the Cougar defense. Near the end of the second, the Cougars recovered a fumble near the goal line to stop the Monroe drive, but were not able to execute. With the Cougars backed up to the end zone, the Volunteers were called on a fifteen yard penalty, moving EA almost to their own twenty yard line and giving them a first down. Yet on the play immediately following the penalty, EA fumbled, Monroe recovered the ball, and the Volunteers scored their fifth TD of the night. At half-time, the score stood at 34-6, Monroe Academy.
As the third quarter began, the Cougars came back with new life. EA was able to hold Monroe to one TD in this quarter while scoring on a fifteen yard pass from Roberts to Bradford Price. The kick was good, making the score 40-13, going into the fourth.
The EA defense was strong in the fourth quarter, holding Monroe scoreless, but the four second quarter Volunteer touchdowns were simply too much for the Cougars to overcome. Neither team could score in the final quarter of play and the game came to a close with Monroe Academy over EA, 40-13.
Despite the loss, the numbers on the game for the Cougars are impressive, due mostly to their awesome second half play. Brandon Moore led the team defensively with eleven tackles. Senior Chivas Thompson had ten tackles on the night as he played his best game of the season. Kevin White had nine tackles, followed by David Daniel and Buckie Dawson with eight each. Cody White had six tackles, Beasley had five, Josh Morgan and J.R. Hall each had four, and Price, Hardy, and Oliver Petty each had three tackles.
Offensively, the Cougars totaled 264 yards. Roberts was eighteen for twenty-six passing with 187 yards, while Beasley went two for five for thirty-one yards. The Cougars totaled 176 yards in kickoff returns with Price responsible for 125 yards of that total. Leading the team in rushing was Beasley with seven carries for twenty-nine yards. Beasley was also seven for ten receiving for a total of eighty-nine yards. Price followed with four receptions for forty-one yards. Hardy had four receptions for thirty-nine yards, Morgan had one reception for thirty-six yards, and Cody White had one reception for seven yards.
As was the story throughout the year, Escambia Academy struggled with mistakes. Poor blocking, missed tackles, fumbles, and penalty after penalty contributed to the loss. These errors, combined with the jump from 1A to 2A, proved to be too much for the small team of only twenty-two players to overcome as the Cougars ended their season with a disappointing record of 1-9.
With the end of football season, Escambia Academy has begun preparing for the beginning of the basketball season. The Cougars' first game will be Nov. 19 at Sparta Academy, with JV, girls, and boys action beginning at 4:00 p.m.