EA wins state title, 35-28
TROY — The Escambia Academy Cougars beat Bessemer Academy 35-28 Friday night to win the AISA Class AAA state championship.
It is the school’s first state title in football.
Brett Gorum scored a 1-yard touchdown run with 49 seconds left and added the extra point. On the ensuing drive, EA’s Kris Brown intercepted a pass to seal the win.
EA’s other touchdowns were a 7-yard pass from Gorum to Maleek Salter, a 6-yard run by Brown, a 59-yard pass from Gorum to Scott Brantley, and a 19-yard pass from Gorum to Tim Finklea.
EA trailed 28-14 in the third quarter before mounting a comeback.
“I just feel complete excitement,” said Brantley, a senior. “There’s no words to describe it. This is what we’ve been dreaming about all year.”
The Cougars fell behind 28-14 with 4:27 left in the third quarter, but responded in a big way. After Brantley returned the kickoff to the EA 41-yard-line, Gorum then connected with Brantley for a long 59-yard touchdown pass. Gorum added the extra point and EA cut the lead to seven points, just 19 seconds after Bessemer’s touchdown.
“That was a big play for us,” EA coach Hugh Fountain said. “We knew we needed to get the momentum back and Brett made a great throw.”
During the regular season, Bessemer beat EA 32-14. Friday night, Fountain said the Cougars “cleaned up their mistakes” from that earlier loss to the Rebels.
“We were a lot more patient with our running game against them this time,” Fountain said.
EA also set a new team record for wins, after finishing with an 11-1 record for the season. The school’s previous record was 10 wins, which was achieved by the 1971 and 2013 teams.
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For more coverage of this game, see the Wednesday, Nov. 26, edition of The Atmore Advance.