Cougars hope to tame the Lions

Published 2:53 pm Thursday, September 22, 2005

By By Tim Cottrell
The Escambia Academy Cougars (3-0, 3-1) have put a slow start behind them the past two weeks, blasting region rivals Sparta and Jefferson Christian by a combined score of 82-30.
This week the Evangel Academy Lions will come to town, sporting a 3-1 record overall. EA coach Heath Gibson said the Cougars would have to keep on their toes to avoid the upset.
"They've got a lot of speed," Gibson said. "They have a big fullback. He goes about 240 and he's 5'10". He's a cannonball coming through there. He's hard to bring down. I think we'll be able to stop him, though. They beat Sparta 40-20 last week, so they can score some points. I'm hoping our defense comes out and makes a big statement this week."
Gibson said that the team's improvement on both sides of the line has been encouraging in recent weeks.
"I've been pleased with the offensive line the last two weeks," he said. "We were dominant on one side, but the left side of the line has come on and given us the ability to run the ball to either side. Our defensive line has gotten a lot better, but they still have a lot of work to do."
He also noted that improvement from the defensive line and special teams would be vital to the team's success.
"Our defensive line has been getting cut a lot," Gibson said. "They weren't doing a lot to get off those. They were just going to the ground. We've got to work on that. We really need to work on our PAT team. We missed a lot of extra points last week."
As they currently stand the Cougars are injury free. Gibson said there were a few knicks and cuts here and there, but nothing to worry about.
"We've got a few guys a little banged up," he said. "But after this week we should look good."
Standing in first place in AISA's Class 2A East Region and two weeks away from hosting what may be their stiffest competition for the region crown, Gibson said the Cougars would have to focus on the business at hand to avoid an upset.
"The big fullback concerns me," he said. "He banged us up last year a little bit but we got by them. It's a year later and he's probably a year bigger, so it's going to be tough. I feel that we're better everywhere else."
The Cougars will host Evangel at 7:30 p.m. Friday night in Canoe.

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