By PAOLO GORME
News Sports Writer
Coming off of a bye week, the Escambia Academy Cougars were well rested coming into their homecoming week. Aside from the game being their homecoming game, it was a pivotal region game for them to win to have home playoff advantage in the playoffs.
The Clarke Prep Gators from Grove Hill were the ones to challenge the Cougars and their 7-game win streak. The Cougars reigned victorious routing the Gators 38-8.
On the offensive side of the ball, EA could not be stopped as they totaled 403 yards on 57 plays and 15 first downs. The defense held Clarke Prep to only 178 yards of total offense on 48 plays and 1 touchdown. The defense also had 2 interceptions and a fumble recovery. Quarterback Jabe Dawe threw for 195 yards and two touchdowns. Louie Turner ran for 97 yards on 9 attempts with 2 touchdowns. Pat McGhee had 17 yards rushing with a touchdown. Wide receiver Neikel Robinson had 3 receptions for 105 yards with an 85-yard touchdown and had an interception and a fumble recovery on defense. Fred Flavors had 1 reception for 70 that went for a touchdown.
“I was proud of the victory and of the first half, especially in the second quarter because we got to clicking on both sides of the ball. This win sets us up for a big game in two weeks against Autauga which determines if we get both rounds of the playoffs at home,” said Coach Hugh Fountain after the game.
The lone score in the first quarter came at the 6:12 mark with McGhee punching it in from the 3-yard line with Turner scoring the 2- point conversion. The Cougars started rolling in the second quarter after Robinson recovered a fumble at the EA goal line at the 10-minute mark. About 3 minutes and 15 seconds after that, Robinson caught an 85-yard pass from Dawe and took it all the way down the field leaving the defense in the dust. Turner added a 2-point conversion after the score and put the Cougars on top 16-0. Middle linebacker Jamie Welker intercepted a pass at mid-field shortly after the kickoff. Turner capitalized on the turnover and scored from 2 yards out and McGhee scored the 2-point conversion that added the Cougar advantage to 24-0. The defense came up big once again as Robinson intercepted the ball at the EA 20-yard line. A few plays after, Turner blew past the Gator defense scoring from 41 yards out. Daniels tapped in the extra point and the score to end the first half was 31-0.
The Cougars scored their last touchdown of the game in the first 22 seconds of the third quarter. Flavors and Dawe connected on a 70-yard pass. Daniels’s extra point was good and the score was 38-0. Clarke Prep’s quarterback William Averitt scored the Gators’ lone touchdown in the fourth quarter from 6 yards out with Dylan Thomas’s 2-point conversion successful. The score was 38-8 to end the night.
The Cougars will have a bye this week. They will be back in action in Prattville to face the Autauga Academy Generals on October 20. Go Cougars!