Cougars looking for more offense

Published 2:31 pm Wednesday, September 7, 2005

By By Tim Cottrell
Fresh off what can only be described as a strange win over region foe Taylor Road last Friday, the Escambia Academy Cougars are now turning their attention to an old rival.
The Cougars (1-1, 1-0) will travel to Evergreen Friday to take on the Sparta Academy Warriors (0-2, 0-1) at 7:30 p.m.
Coming off a game in which EA managed only 197 total yards – all of which came on the ground – head coach Heath Gibson felt that more attention would need to be paid to the passing game.
"We've been working a lot on the passing game," he said. "We need to get to where we can throw the ball a little bit to take the pressure off our running game. We're also working on some ball-handling drills (of the five Cougar turnovers, three were fumbles). We need to cut down on turnovers. We can't shoot ourselves in the foot and win games."
Gibson also said that the penalty-laden performance against Taylor Road would not be a recurring theme this season.
"I think it had a lot to do with circumstances," he said. "Starting a game at 9:15 is tough. It's not the way our players are taught to play and I don't expect it to be a problem anymore."
As for Sparta, the Warriors stand at 0-2 after losses to Ft. Dale and Kingwood Academies, neither of which saw Sparta come within three touchdowns. Gibson said they were a young team that could make noise in the near future.
"They're young this year," he said. "They had a lot of young guys and freshmen playing last year, and now those guys are sophomores. I've seen a bunch of film. They're big and strong, so we've got to take advantage of our quickness. I think our speed is a lot better. We're a much faster team than they are. They're a lot bigger than we are. We've just got to take care of the ball, get some good drives, and not shoot ourselves in the foot."
Gibson said the Cougar offense, which has netted only 19 points in two games, would continue to improve..
"The defense is keeping us in ballgames," Gibson said. 'Right now we've got no passing game. If we can just establish a little bit of a passing game it will free up our running game a lot. I think they'll get better as the season progresses."

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