Cougars drop second straight
By By Matthew Nascone
Escambia Academy football head coach Heath Gibson knew his team's game against Southern Academy would be a tough one and it was, as the Cougars lost 41-0.
Gibson said the game was close in the first half as the score after one quarter of play was 7-0. This was an improvement on the defensive output of the two previous teams Southern had defeated. They won easily 69-0 and 85-3 in their first two contests.
"We had two big plays offensively to start the game, but then it seemed like we stalled and could not move the ball anymore," Gibson said.
The opening play of EA's first drive was a 12-yard run by wingback Kevin Maher and fullback Joe Drew rumbled for 20 yards on the next play, but the Southern defense figured out the run and kept the Cougars out of the end zone.
Drew finished the game with 34 yards on seven carries and five tackles on the defensive side of the ball.
The score was 14-0 win about three minutes to go in the half before Southern added another touchdown and made the halftime score 21-0, but Gibson said his team ran out of gas against a good team.
"We just ran out of ammunition against a very physical and aggressive team," Gibson said. "They got us on our heels and took it to us."
The big defensive line wore on EA all night, Gibson said.
"They were getting penetration and being very physical up front," he said. "We had a hard time dealing with their strength."
Injuries also stalled the Cougar offense. Wingback Cody Norton went down with an injury in the first half and guard Cameron McGhee was dazed in the second half, but returned to the field later in the game.
"Cody was hit on the spine and he did not move for a while and he lost feeling in his body, but he did move before the paramedics took him out on a stretcher," Gibson said.
Gibson went to visit Norton in the hospital after the game.
The loss marked the second in a row for the Cougars, but Gibson said he is not worried.
"We knew we played two of the best teams in the state in this one stretch," he said. "We want to go toe-to-toe with everybody, but sometimes you can't. But we know if we can get all our kids healthy we will get back to winning football games."
Leading tacklers for the Cougars were Ethan Brooks with 11 tackles, Michael Mitchell with eight tackles, Joe Drew with five tackles and Jon Dean with four tackles.
Norton ran for 41 yards on four carries before being injured and Jon Dean ran three times for 20 yards. EA was held to 136 yards rushing as a team.
EA Tiny Mites
The Escambia Academy Tiny Mites team won 19-0 against Cottage Hill Academy in a game that saw every player get playing time.
Scott Brantley had seven carries for 252 yards rushing, including an 80-yard touchdown run and two 60-yard touchdown runs. John Patrick Sawyer had four carries for 53 yards and the defense held the Warriors to 0 yards of total offense.