Cougars sack PCA

Published 10:10 am Monday, September 19, 2011

Escambia Academy Cougars running back Jaylen Henry runs away from a Prattville Christian Academy Panther during the Cougars’ 52-12 win over the Panthers at Bachelor Field in Canoe. Henry had 289 yards and three touchdowns.|Chandler Myers|The Atmore Advance

Escambia Academy extracted its revenge on the Prattville Christian Academy Panthers Friday night at Bachelor Field in Canoe.

The Cougars (3-2, 1-1) turned the tide on the Panthers, who won last season’s meeting 62-36 by putting together a 52-12 rout of the AISA Class 3A team.

The win went over well with all of the Cougars, including their head coach Heath Gibson.

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“Real pleased with our win tonight,” Gibson said. “We struggled right off the bat, but we seemed to clean all of that up. Our offensive line blocked well and our defense played great as usual. We just need to carry this on to next week.”

The game was a battle in the first half as the teams traded turnovers before the Cougars put a field goal through to go up 3-0.

Two series later, the Panthers trapped inside their five faced a bad snap that turned into a safety putting EA up 5-0.

The Cougars then turned their possession into a long 41-yard drive that was capped off with a six-yard touchdown run by Jaylen Henry to put EA up 12-0.

The Panthers finally made it on the board early in the second quarter as they scored in on play with a 60-yard touchdown run. They then turned a Cougars drive into a fumble, and went on a four-play drive that tied the game on a six-yard scamper to the end zone.

The Cougars drove down just before halftime to go up 19-12 with Michael Thompson hitting Cameron McGhee on a 15-yard touchdown pass. Thompson would pass for 91 yards and a touchdown.

Following halftime, it was all Cougars as Jaylen Henry scored on their first two series. The first touchdown came on a 10-yard run, but the second, which was Henry’s third of the night, was a 66-yard dash down the sideline, putting the Cougars ahead 32-12.

Henry finished the game with 289 yards on 29 carries and three touchdowns. His big performance showed the power of the Cougars’ running game, Gibson said.

“I think the past few weeks with Michael throwing the ball so well, it helped open it up,” he said. “Jaylen and Wesley really turned it on tonight, and we were able to play our stalker package more. We just opened it up.”

The defense got in on the scoring on the Panthers next series as Wesley Steadham picked off a Prattville pass and took it all the way to pay dirt putting his team up 39-12 just before the fourth quarter.

The Cougars then forced a turnover on downs to give the ball back to their offense. On their drive, the Cougars went 45-yards with Steadham scoring on a 17-yard run bulldozing through Panther defenders on his way to the end zone.

Leading 45-12 with time winding down, Escambia Academy found time to score one more touchdown before putting the second-team in as Clayton Dyess pushed his way into the end zone from four yards out giving the Academy a 52-12 lead to finish out the game.

Finishing out the second half strong really put the Cougars back on tack with where their coaches want them to be.

The changes made at halftime put them in a position to win big, Gibson said.

“Great adjustments by my coaching staff,” he said. “They made great changes, and we cut down on turnovers and penalties.”

The Cougars next game will be at home against Patrician Academy next Friday. The Cougars and Saints kick off at 7 p.m. in Canoe.