By PAOLO GORME
News Sports Writer
Pickens Academy Pirates were no match for the mighty Escambia Academy Cougars Friday, September 8. The first half was filled with a plethora of highlights and touchdowns from the offensive, defensive, and special teams sides of the ball. The Pirates scored their 2 touchdowns halfway through the third quarter and at the very end of the game. Louie Turner, Jojo Carpenter, Fred Flavors, Neikel Robinson, and Pat McGhee scored for the Cougars with Carpenter and McGhee scoring 2 touchdowns each. The Cougars had 279 yards of total offense, with 242 rushing yards while holding the Pirates to 168 yards of total offense.
“We just had a great first half. Punt returns and a scoop and score and scoring 42 points in the first half, I just felt very proud of them,” was EA Coach Hugh Fountain’s thoughts about their outstanding first half.
On the third play of the game, EA’s defense forced and recovered a fumble in Pirates territory. A few plays later, Turner ran the ball in for a 1-yard run and also scored the 2-point conversion to make it 8-0. Back on the defensive side of the ball, Neikel Robinson snagged an interception at the Cougars 6-yard line. On the next defensive possession, it was Fred Flavors’ turn to snag a an interception with 4:13 left in the first quarter. A minute and 37 seconds after the interception, fullback Jojo Carpenter broke loose and scored a 66-yard touchdown. The extra point was no good making the score 14-0.
Ten seconds in to the second quarter and Robinson strikes again with an interception at the Cougars 40-yard line. EA couldn’t capitalize on the turnover but when Pickens lined up to punt after their 3 and out, Flavors weaved past through the Pickens punt team and scored a 77-yard punt return making the crowd delirious. Jace Daniels’ extra point was good making the score 21-0. Pickens once again lined up to punt and Robinson fielded the punt and also returned it for 55 yards. With Daniels’ extra point good, the score was 28-0, advantage Cougars. The Cougars quickly retained possession of the ball after another 3 and out by the Pirates.
The next one to score was Pat McGhee who took the handoff and ran it in from 34 yards out. Daniels’ extra point was good to make it 35-0. When it looked like Pickens was on the verge of putting points on the board, their running back fumbled the football at the 7-yard line and Carpenter scooped it up and ran it all the way back to the other end zone. The extra point was good and the score at the end of the half was 42-0 Cougars.
Coming out of the locker room, the Cougars scored at the 7:52 mark of the third quarter with McGhee running it in from 33 yards out. That piled on to the score for 7 more points after the extra point and the Cougars ended their scoring night at 49 points. Coach Fountain and his coaching staff began pulling the starters off the field 1 by 1 to let the rest of the team have their playing time under the lights of Bachelor Field. Lee Acker and Hamner Allen would score the Pirates’ 2 touchdowns. “We have some things to improve on, like tackling better and blocking plays better but the bottom line is we’re 5-0 and 1-0 in the region,” Fountain said.
The Cougars will be back on the road to face Jackson Academy, another region game, this Friday. Go Cougars!