Cougars playoff-bound with win in Camden

Published 11:44 am Wednesday, October 10, 2007

By By Matthew Nascone
The Escambia Academy Cougars have been staying later than usual for practice and are studying every shred of film they can get their hands on for this week's matchup with Wilcox Academy.
The Cougars, once a long shot to make the playoffs with a 1-4 record, are staring the playoffs right in the face with a win over the Wildcats Friday night in Camden.
"We are trying to prepare the team for everything they could possibly throw at us," Gibson said. "We have had longer practices so we can give our guys every advantage to win this game."
EA (3-4, 2-3 AISA Class AA, Region 1) can clinch the fourth playoff spot in Region 1 with a win over Wilcox (1-6, 1-3).
"I feel like we are ready to play this game because there is a lot on the line and our kids know this," Gibson said. "We had a quiet day at practice Monday because the guys knew what we have to do and they are focused."
To make it to the playoffs, Gibson and the Cougars are going to have to have a game plan to stop Wildcat running back/quarterback Jason Ray.
"He is their best back and they will move him from running back to quarterback throughout the game," Gibson said. "He does a lot of different things for them and when he is in there at running back they will run the power I and give him the ball. He is a very explosive back."
The Wildcats have two of the best linemen in AISA blocking for Ray on the offensive line, according to Gibson. Gibson has a plan for defending Ray.
"I feel like we have the advantage of being in shape and their go-to guy plays both ways, so hopefully we can wear him down," he said.
On the offensive side of the ball for EA, Gibson said Jon Dean will have to have another good game for the Cougars. Dean rushed for 165 yards and two touchdowns last week against Evangel Christian Academy.
"For us to win Jon Dean needs to throw the ball well because their one weakness is their secondary and I believe we can make some plays on them through the air," Gibson said. "And our receivers have to play well for that to happen."
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Camden.

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