Cougars host Patrician Friday night

Published 4:21 pm Monday, September 19, 2011

Escambia Academy Cougars linebacker Braxton Chastang sacks the Prattville Christian Panthers quarterback during Friday's win.|Chandler Myers|The Atmore Advance

Escambia Academy moves back into region play to take on the No. 5 Patrician Academy Saints this week after crushing the Prattville Christian Panthers 52-12 last Friday at Bachelor Field.

The Cougars (3-2, 1-1) look to continue where they left off against Prattville and extend their current winning streak to three games.

Cougars head coach Heath Gibson said it will be a hard fought battle with big implications in the region.

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“It’s a big region game,” he said. “We definitely need to win this game. We’ll have to play hard and physical because they will be big up front. We will have to control the line of scrimmage.”

Coming into this week’s game against a Top 5 opponent, the Cougars are hoping use their strengths as much as possible.

The game will feature a power running team in the Saints against a speedy, finesse team in the Cougars.

If the Cougars’ speed takes over then they should fight for a win, Gibson said.

“The biggest thing is for us to be physical from the first quarter on and get after them,” he said. “Hopefully, our speed will take over, and we’ll utilize that to get us a win.”

The mismatch for the Cougars this week will be the size of their opponent.

The Saints bring in a larger team that uses its size to push down the field four or five yards at a time.

The first team to find a benefit of what they do well will win the game, Gibson said.

“They are bigger than us up front, but we are faster than them to the corner,” he said. “It’s going to be one of those things where it will come down to who can utilize their strengths better. They are going to run a Wing-T offense and play power football compared to our speed spread game.”

The problem of the offensive line is slowly going away for the Cougars of Canoe.

Despite there being issues that remain, the big players up front are beginning to do a better job, Gibson said.

“We just need to keep working physical in practice,” he said. “Our offensive lineman are starting to do a great job, but we need to keep doing that and get all over big guys on board.”

“A win this week would put us back in the hunt for a region championship,” he said. “This is a big, big game for us.”

Escambia Academy and Patrician Academy kick off at 7 p.m. on Friday night at Bachelor Field in Canoe.