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Fast start propels Escambia Academy in 1st round

Escambia Academy’s fast start Friday ended in a 48-8 victory over Springwood School in the first round of the AISA Class 2A state playoffs.

The Cougars led 36-0 at the end of the first quarter, and 48-0 at halftime.

With the victory, EA faces Macon East at home on Nov. 13 in the state semifinals. Macon-East defeated Wilcox Academy 28-25 tonight. The Cougars defeated Wilcox 35-6 on Sept. 11.

“I don’t think we could’ve gotten in there more faster,” EA head football coach Hugh Fountain said. “That was a fast start for us. I told the boys at halftime, ‘that’s the way we should play right off the bat.’”

Fountain said he was pleased with the team’s effort.

“It was a good start for us,” he said.

During the second half, EA’s non starters played the final two quarters, only allowing a touchdown from Springwood’s O.J. Tolbert early in the fourth.

“We told the boys we’d get everybody in the second half,” Fountain said. “I’m not much for a running clocks because they don’t allow for your younger guys to play a lot of the game.

“I pretty much was pleased with them,” he said. “We didn’t hardly run any plays in the first half that we practiced this week because the game got out of whack.”

EA’s scoring plays by quarter included:

First quarter

• Landon Sims scored on a 50-yard punt return with 9:59 left in the first. With the point after touchdown (PAT), EA led 7-0.

• Bubba Nettles scampered in from 5 yards, and JJ Stevens converted the 2-point conversion for a 15-0 lead.

• Devin Kelly scooped up a fumble and ran it back 50 yards for a score. With the PAT, the Cougars led 22-0.

• Sims added a 5-yard score with 2:56 left in the first for a 29-0 advantage.

• Sims then connected with Randall Bonds ojn a 44-yard strike with 27 seconds left in the first. EA led 36-0 with the PAT.

Second quarter

• Nettles scored on a 14-yard scamper with 5:08 left in the first half.

• Sims found Nettles on a 17-yard touchdown pass with 1:14 left in the second. The PAT was no good.