Cougars look for another win

Published 8:39 am Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Following a two-week dropoff, the Escambia Academy Cougars bounced back last Friday to pick up a 38-7 win over the Marengo Academy Longhorns in Linden.

The Cougars (2-2, 1-1) improved their play and now turn their attention towards AISA Class 3A opponent Prattville Christian Academy.

The Panthers of PCA come into the game with a 1-2 record, but won in a shootout with the Cougars last season.

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Even with the Panters coming in with two losses, the Cougars are preparing for a high-scoring game, Escambia Academy Cougars head football coach Heath Gibson said.

“I feel like that we will have to score some points to win this game,” he said. “They are an athletic team with some strong kids at the skill positions. They also have a lot of speed. We feel like we need to execute offensively, so we are able to compete with team like this.”

After going back to the basics with the offensive line last week, the results showed up and proved to be good.

Staying physical has been a key for the line and that will continue this week, Gibson said.

“This past week, our offensive line looked much better,” he said. “I think that simplifying our blocking schemes helped us out, and it showed them which players they are supposed to be blocking. We’ve been having physical practices, which has helped our play up front. We are running more of our option game now, so we just need to make the right reads.”

The Panthers will bring a spread attack to the game this week with the Cougars looking for different looks with several receivers.

Keeping the quarterback uncomfortable will be the Cougars’ defense largest goal, Gibson said.

“They in a spread offensively,” he said. “They run five wide most of the time with a lot of shifting. They do not do a lot of motion, but they do line up and then have a lot of shifts. We need to put a target on their quarterback to put heat on him.”

Offensively, the Cougas are preparing for anything when it comes to the Panthers’ defense.

With the Cougars running a different offense than PCA’s previous opponents, Gibson said he expects the Panthers to run what they did in 2010.

“I’m not sure what they’ll do on defense,” he said. “They have played three run-oriented offenses, so they have lined up in 60 fronts, but I know they can’t do that against us. I’m looking for them to line up in a spread 4-4 set like the did last year.”

Coming a way with an upset of PCA will improve the Cougars’ chances of the playoffs.

Holding onto the ball will be an important goal to get a win, Gibson said.

“We need to limit turnovers and cut down on penalties,” he said. “We really need to make them turn the ball over, so we can put ourselves in a position to win.”

The Cougars and Panthers kick off at 7 p.m. Friday at Bachelor Field in Canoe.