EA throttles Pike Liberal Arts

Published 1:09 am Saturday, October 5, 2013

In this photo by Joey Meredith of The Troy Messenger, Brice McGhee makes a catch over a defender during the Cougars' win.

In this photo by Joey Meredith of The Troy Messenger, Brice McGhee makes a catch over a defender during the Cougars’ win.

By Jeb Sharpe

The Troy Messenger


Escambia Academy coach Hugh Fountain won 104 games for Charles Henderson High School in Troy. Now as coach of the Escambia Academy Cougars, he added one more victory in Troy after beating the Pike Liberal Arts Patriots, 50-8, in his first homecoming as a Cougar coach.

Despite the win coming in a town where Fountain has a lot of history, he said that the victory was not any sweeter.

“It always feels good to win,” Fountain said. “I worked in Troy for 16 years, but none of that had anything to do with Pike Lib. Working at Charles Henderson was the experience of a lifetime, and it always feels good to come back and see folks you know.”

Fountain’s homecoming got off to a slow start, with neither team scoring on their first two drives of the ball game. Running back Tim Finklea got things rolling for the Cougars when he returned a punt 55 yards for a touchdown with 5:37 to go in the first quarter. Scott Brantley tacked on the extra point to make the score 7-0 in favor of Escambia.

To start off the second quarter, Tim Finklea scored his second touchdown of the night on a 3-yard run. Finklea also added a two-point conversion to make the score 15-0 with 20:46 left in the first half.

“I saw a lot of green grass and open lanes out there tonight,” Finklea said. “My offensive line and receivers did a lot of good blocking for me.”

The Escambia defense held the Patriots to a three-and-out on their next possession, and the Cougars took the ball over on their own 39-yard line. Quarterback Brett Gorum engineered a 61-yard touchdown drive that culminated in running back Kris Brown scoring on a run from 10 yards out. Gordon Brooks put the ball in on the two-point conversion to put the Cougars up by 22.

On the Patriots’ next possession, Brantley intercepted a Brian Adams pass and returned it 55 yards for another Cougar touchdown. However, Brantley missed the extra point attempt, so the score remained 29-0.

The Cougars would add one more touchdown before the half. Receiving the ball with less than a minute in the game, Gorum executed a perfect two-minute offense and connected with Tim Finklea on a 29-yard touchdown strike to score with 15 seconds remaining in the half. Brantley added another extra point to make the score at the half 36-0.

The second half saw more of the same dominance from the Cougars. Brooks scored on a 9-yard run to make the score 43-0, and Kevin Gumapac connected with Jake Leachman on a 14-yard fade to give the Cougars a 50 point lead.

The Patriots scored a consolation touchdown with five minutes left in the game on a Drew Starling scramble. Starling connected with receiver Brian Adams on the two-point conversion for a final score of 50-8.

Tim Finklea led the way for the Cougars with 163 all-purpose yards, three touchdowns, and one interception.

With the win, coach Fountain said that the Cougars clinched a spot in the AISA Class AAA playoffs.

“The biggest thing for us tonight was that we locked in that playoff spot,” Fountain said. “I think we’ll go in as the No. 3 seed out of the region.”

With the win, the Cougars improve to 5-2 on the season and finish region play with a 3-2 record. The Cougars stay at home next week in a matchup with South Choctaw Academy.