Published 9:43 am Wednesday, November 20, 2019

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EA to play in 2A state title game Friday

This is their time.

Escambia Academy will play in its fourth-straight state championship game against Autauga Academy this Friday in Veterans Memorial Stadium at Troy University.

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The Cougars dominated Edgewood 49-7 in the AISA Class 2A state semifinals last week. Autauga defeated Patrician 41-19.

EA head football coach Hugh Fountain said this week’s game is big because it’s down to a one ballgame season.

“We’ve all worked hard to get there,” Fountain said. “If we do the job, we come home state champions. If we don’t, we won’t be the state champions.”

Fountain said for both teams, it’s special to be able to play each other four times in a row in the title game.

Octavious Palmer leads AA under center with 1,691 yards in the air, and has accounted for 20 touchdowns. On the ground, Ferontay Cutler and Tyreshon Freeman lead the Generals on the run game with 841 and 519 yards, respectively.

Raymond Cutler and Teddy Harris lead the receiving corps for AA.

“The thing about Autauga is that they have good players every where,” Fountain said. “He’s (Palmer) been proficient the whole year throwing the ball. They’ve got weapons everywhere.

“It’s not just one person to stop,” he said. “When you look at us, we’re similar. We’ve got good receivers (Tiquale Taylor, Shannon Wheat and Ty Williams) and a good quarterback (Landon Sims).”

Like all games, the battle up front is crucial.

Fountain said it’s important, especially, in this game because last year, the Generals smashed EA up in their rout.

“In the end, it all comes to playing physically hard up front and people getting after it in the game,” he said.

When asked if the keys to the game are the same in the championship, Fountain said to him, it always comes down to turnovers and penalties.

“That doesn’t change, no matter which game it is in the season,” he said. “Execution means so much. Every possession gets the game closer to the end. How you execute. Do you make a mistake on third and one, or do you give up a long third down play? I think execution does become a big part of these games.”

Fountain said the players are enthusiastic and ready to play this week’s game.

“The kids here – we’ve been fortunate – because they’ve been brought up on this championship game,” Fountain said. “They’ve grown up on it. They expect to play the state championship game and take a week off for Thanksgiving. It wasn’t hard to get them to practice on Monday.”

Kick off in Troy is at 3:30 p.m.