Cougars shutout 35-0
By By Chandler Myers
In a night where anything could go wrong, everything did go wrong for the Escambia Academy Cougars who were shutout Friday night by rival the Sparta, 35-0.
The Cougars (0-1) started the game on defense and played a good series holding the Warriors to 12 yards.
On the first drive for the Cougars, Jeff Price hit Blake Kirk with a 12-yard pass, but was sacked three plays later giving up the ball on downs.
Price who completed 6-of-20 passes for 96 yards, but was picked off three times during the game, while Kirk finished the game with three receptions for 35 yards and 10 tackles on defense.
Head coach Heath Gibson said there were too many breakdowns on offense and not enough capitalizing on big plays.
Two drives later Sparta scored the first touchdown of the game with a 15-yard touchdown pass to take the lead 7-0 in the first quarter.
EA continued to draw blanks on offense and turned the ball over to the Warriors on a four and out and the Warriors quarterback completed passes of 5, 18 and 11 yards before being picked off by Kawetta Coon.
The Cougars’ next series saw the running game become a factor as Cody Ware ran the ball three straight plays for gains of 5, 4 and minus 2 yards forcing the Cougars to punt.
Ware finished the game with 50 yards on 11 carries and had one reception for 8 yards.
Sparta continued to work the Cougar defense scoring on consecutive drives with two more touchdown passes to take the lead 28-0 early in the third quarter.
Gibson said the Cougars just were not in the game mentally and could not get there when things got tough.
Both offenses began sputtering with the fourth quarter beginning with neither side gaining ground.
The Cougars’ offense looked like it might spark with a 55-yard pass from Price to Burkett, who made his only catch of the game.
Three plays later, Price was picked off again and the interception was returned for a touchdown with just over two minutes left in the ball game.
At the final whistle, Sparta broke their five-game losing streak to EA and left Bachelor field with a 35-0 win.
Gibson said his team played hard, but just got overpowered in every position. He added that all the team can do is get back to basics at practice and try again next week.