Cougars return home

Published 2:42 pm Wednesday, September 14, 2005

By By Tim Cottrell
Now that their offensive issues seem close to being solved, the Escambia Academy Cougars are preparing for another stiff opponent in the Jefferson Christian Eagles.
The Cougars, who took over first place in their region with a 39-16 win over Sparta last Friday night, now stand at 2-1. The Eagles are currently 1-2.
EA head coach Heath Gibson, recovering in the hospital from an illness that developed over the weekend, said that the Eagles could pose some problems for the Cougars.
"I feel pretty good (about the match up)," Gibson said. "They're a dangerous team. They have a tendency to play real good one night and not so good the next one. They almost have a Jekyll and Hyde syndrome. They're kind of scary because you don't know what you're going to get on a given night."
However, the game will be a bit of a mystery for both teams, as neither has been able to study a tremendous amount of film and Jefferson chose to forfeit last year's meeting rather than play the Cougars.
"We haven't had much film time," Gibson said. "They forfeited last year so we didn't get to play them. We don't know much about them, and they don't know much about us."
After struggling the first two weeks of the season against Faith and Taylor Road, Gibson felt the young Cougars were finally beginning to hit their stride.
"I think this past weekend at Sparta everything gelled together," Gibson said. "The first drive we drove down 60 yards and turned the ball over, and then after that we scored every time we touched the ball."
He also noted that two of his seniors have been a big part of the success thus far this season.
"Dalton Murphy's really stepped up for us," he said. "He plays a really good defensive end for us and is a really good pulling guard. Bruce Smith has played real well. He's been a big part of our success."
But he did note that there were special teams issues to work out.
"Our special teams are a problem," he said. "Our extra point team needs a lot of work. Our punt team needs some work. I think we're pretty good in the kickoff area."
With the next game only a few days away, Gibson felt the main concern for the Cougars would be to contain Jefferson's speed.
"I think they're going to be pretty fast," he said. "From what I've heard they've got a lot of speed. If we can just contain their speed we'll be all right."
The Cougars will host the Eagles Friday night in Canoe at 7:30.

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