Cougars roar in 2013

Published 5:06 pm Monday, December 2, 2013

Brice McGhee catches a pass from Brett Gorum in a win over Pike Liberal Arts last season.

Brice McGhee catches a pass from Brett Gorum in a win over Pike Liberal Arts last season.

This year’s Escambia Academy Cougars were only the second team in school history with 10 wins.

EA went 10-3 this season and nearly tied a 15-year-old record with eight straight wins this year, according to the Alabama High School Football Historical Society website. The Cougars were also undefeated at home this year, a perfect 5-0 in Canoe.

EA got off to a good start with a 53-26 win over Glenwood Academy. In that game, a stable of Cougar running backs ran for a total of 444 yards in the game at Mark Stallings Field at Faulkner University in Montgomery.

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Tim Finklea ran for 137 yards on 14 carries, J.P. Sawyer ran eight times for 102 yards and Kris Brown ran for 111 yards.

Game two of the season didn’t go as well. The Cougars, who were playing their second straight road game, lost in a heartbreaker to Fort Dale Academy by the final score of 32-26.

The Eagles recovered a fumbled kick return attempt, giving them the ball at the EA 35-yard line. The next play resulted in a touchdown for Fort Dale.

The Cougars opened up their home field with a 48-7 win against Hooper Academy.

EA led 41-0 at halftime of that game and had a combined total of 269 yards rushing on 34 carries.

The Cougars lost the next week 50-14 to Monroe Academy to fall to 2-2 on the year. Finklea and Kevin Gumapac scored in the loss.

EA dispatched of its oldest rival, Sparta Academy, with a 35-3 win in just its second home game of the year. The Cougars ran to victory on the legs of Gordon Brooks and Brown, who each went over 100 yards in the win.

The Cougars won their second straight home game with a 35-14 win over Morgan Academy. EA played sloppy at first, but ran the ball well – to the tune of 368 yards on 33 carries – en route to the win.

EA coach Hugh Fountain returned to Troy the next week as the Cougars took down Pike Liberal Arts 50-8. The win moved them to 5-2. The win also finished out the region schedule for the Cougars.

EA beat up on a smaller South Choctaw team the next week, with a 44-10 win on homecoming night. Finklea led the team in rushing once again with 142 yards on 14 carries.

The Cougars then beat a tough Clarke Prep team, 26-14 to improve their record to 7-2. Fountain credited the team’s second half performance as a key to victory that week, as the game was tied at 14-14 at halftime. The defense held Clarke Prep to 25 total yards in the second half.

EA traveled all the way to Greensboro to shutout Southern Academy 40-0 the following week. The Cougars beat Macon-East 55-6 in the regular season finale at home.

The Cougars then beat Tuscaloosa Academy 41-27 in the first round of the Alabama Independent Schools Athletic Association playoffs, after losing to the Knights in the same round the previous season.

The Cougars suffered their third and final loss of the season in a rematch against region foe Monroe Academy, 27-3.