Cougars face 2A state champs

Published 9:09 am Wednesday, September 5, 2007

By By Matthew Nascone
Escambia Academy's football Cougars have a tough test ahead of them, they have to travel to Greensboro for a game with the defending AISA Class AA state champion Southern Academy Cougars.
Southern has won three straight titles, two in Class AA and one last year in AA.
"They are a good team," EA head coach Heath Gibson said. "And they are going to come right at us."
Southern will attack EA with 5-foot-11, 190-pound senior tailback Matt Bouler and fullback Matt Ballard.
"Matt Bouler is the running back we must stop if we want to have a chance of winning the game," Gibson said. "He wound up with 1,500 yards rushing last year and they will come off tackle with him and attack us. And when they are not coming off tackle with Bouler, they will run the trap with Ballard to confuse us."
But Gibson has been instilling the positive vibes all week in practice.
"I am trying to make these guys believe we can play with those guys," he said. "We just hope they are not as good as they were last year because they were an extremely physical on defense last year."
The one chink in the armor that Gibson and the EA Cougars hope to exploit is the deep coverage game for the Southern Cougars.
"We have watched them on film and if we can get the ball downfield through the air, we might have a shot," Gibson said. "Jon needs to have a good game throwing the ball down the field and we need to establish the run because that will get the offense rolling."
The offense for EA has not been rolling so far this season, as the Cougars have gained 340 yards total offense in two games.
"We are shuffling some people around on the offensive line to help run our system the way we want to run it," he said. "We are waiting for that big offensive explosion and we hope it comes this week."
Gibson and the Cougars kick off with the Southern Cougars at 7:30 p.m. in Greensboro.

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