Coosa no match for Cougars

Published 3:31 pm Monday, October 3, 2005

By By Tim Cottrell
The Escambia Academy Cougars made a long trip worthwhile Friday night, going all they way to the Birmingham metro area to pound Coosa Valley Academy by a score of 45-0.
The Cougars were led by 311 rushing yards and another stout effort from the defense, which pitched its first shutout of the season.
Junior quarterback Cody Norton opened up the scoring floodgates midway through the first quarter with a five-yard touchdown run. Joe Drew added the two-point conversion to give the Cougars an 8-0 lead.
After the Cougar defense held Coosa again, EA marched down the field and scored in the opening moments of the second quarter on a 10-yard John Brantley touchdown run. Brantley's attempted extra point kick was no good, making the score 14-0.
EA would tack on another score just before halftime when wingback Kevin Maher scampered in from six yards out and then added the two-point conversion to give the Cougars a 22-0 lead at the break.
The Cougars didn't let up as the second half opened, scoring on their first offensive play from scrimmage on a 61-yard run from Drew. Bruce Smith added the two-point conversion to push the lead to 30 points.
Drew added another score in the third on a six yard rumble into the end zone. Maher once again added the two-point conversion.
Head coach Heath Gibson began bringing in the youngsters as the fourth quarter opened, giving them an opportunity to run with some of the first team linemen and the first team quarterback. The decision even provided a score, as Cody Norton hooked up with Colton White on a 55 yard touchdown pass midway through the final frame. It was the first touchdown pass of the season for the Cougars. John Brantley added the two-point conversion to provide the final score of 45-0.
The Cougars managed 406 yards of total offense in the win. Drew led the way, carrying the ball 18 times for 172 yards and two touchdowns. Eighth-grader Cameron McGhee came in in the fourth and rushed for 38 yards on three carries.
Cody Norton had his best day of the season at quarterback, completing two of five passes for 95 yards and a touchdown.
Gibson credited great play from his linemen and backs for the win.
"We're getting a lot of help from being able to run the ball with our wingbacks or with Joe at fullback," Gibson said. "I talked to Bruce (Smith) last night and they were shading one more guy to his side of the field to try to take away our sweep, so it really opened up holes for Joe. It's a give and take situation. It's a tribute to our offensive line. They're really playing well right now."
Gibson was also excited to get the opportunity to see what his JV players could do.
"Each one of those guys got at least three carries apiece," Gibson said. "We wanted to let them carry the ball a couple of times with our starting offensive line. It gives them a better look at where the lanes and the holes will be opening up in game time. It was a good night."
Now that the Cougars (5-1, 5-0) are more than halfway through the season, some tough competition will begin to come knocking on their doors. Perhaps the stiffest test of the season, at least in area play, will come this weekend for homecoming when Kingwood Academy (6-0, 5-0) come to Canoe in an area showdown. Gibson said it would be an excellent test for his team.
"I think our defense is going to have to really step up," he said. "They're going to throw the ball nearly every down. They average about 5-8 runs per game. Our defensive backs are going to be tested. We're just going to have to control the clock and keep the ball out of their hands."
The Cougars will host Kingwood for homecoming Friday night at 7:30 p.m.

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