EA offense wakes up

Published 11:28 am Monday, October 8, 2007

By By Matthew Nascone
Escambia Academy quarterback Jon Dean stole the show Thursday on Senior Night in Canoe.
The sophomore rushed for 165 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries as the Cougars won 35-6 over the visiting Evangel Christian Academy Lions. Dean also connected on 3-of-6 passes for 37 yards.
"We ran the football real well," EA head coach Heath Gibson said. "I was proud of the guys for how they played offensively. It was definitely a good game for us."
The Cougars (3-4) piled up 377 yards rushing on the Lions. Senior fullback Ethan Brooks added 79 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries and junior tailback Kaweta Coon added 91 yards and one touchdown on 14 carries.
The Cougars opened the scoring late in the first quarter, as Brooks rumbled 10 yards for a touchdown, capping a 71-yard drive for the Cougars with 29 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Junior placekicker Dustin Brown booted the PAT through and EA owned a 7-0 lead.
The Lions moved the ball down the field on their next possession, getting to the EA 10-yard line. Sophomore defensive back Tank Mitchell ended the Lions' hopes of scoring with a leaping interception in the end zone.
"They were really scaring me with how they were moving the ball on that possession," Gibson said. "But Tank stepped up and took the air out of their sails with that interception."
The Cougars pushed the lead to 14-0 on an 80-yard drive on their next possession. Dean punched it in from 16 yards out and Brown's PAT was true for the 14-point advantage with 3:17 to go in the first half. The teams entered the half with the score at 14-0 for the Cougars.
The Lions struck early in the second half with a return to their own 40-yard line and a 58-yard touchdown run on the third play from scrimmage. EA held a 14-6 advantage after a missed PAT attempt with 10:17 to go in the third quarter.
The Cougars moved the ball down for a score from their own 42-yard line on a six-yard touchdown run from Brooks. The Cougars took a 21-7 lead on the PAT from Brown.
EA added another touchdown before the end of the third quarter on a four-yard run from Coon. Brown's PAT was wide and the score was 27-6.
Gibson said the offensive line was in sync all game and pushed it to another level in the second half.
"Our offensive line did a great job out there tonight," he said. "And I want to give a special shout out to the left side of the line. We have been able to run well to the right side of the line all year, but tonight the left side of the line stepped up and allowed us to change it up a lot more frequently. The whole line did a good job of opening up some holes for our backs to run through."
Dean connected with junior running back Blaine Garrett for a 24-yard gain on the last play of the third quarter and Dean ran the ball into the end zone from the 13-yard line with 8:12 to go in the game for the final touchdown of the contest.
Brooks busted through the Lions' defensive front for a two-point conversion and EA led 35-6.
The Cougar defense held the Lions to five first downs in the game and 164 yards total offense.
"I feel like we dominated the line of scrimmage," Gibson said. "These guys are starting to understand what we are trying to do out there and they are giving it all they got."
Junior defensive lineman Nick Carlin led the Cougars with 10 tackles. Brooks and sophomore defensive back Jordan Kline added seven tackles. Dean contributed six tackles.
Mitchell had five tackles and one interception and freshman defensive back Nick Flowers had a fumble recovery.
Seniors on the football team, cheerleading squad and volleyball team were honored Thursday before the game. Those seniors include, Ethan Brooks, Tyler Harrison, Dustin Hall, Greg McGhee, Courtney Bruley, Anna-Lisa McGhee, Clare Jones and Talerie Singleton.
Gibson said the Cougars will celebrate this win, but they will quickly turn their attention to next week's regional game against Wilcox Academy. The winner of that game secures a birth in the AISA playoffs.
"Next week is the biggest game of our season," he said. "If we win we are in, so we will celebrate tonight and go get ready for Wilcox on Monday."

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