By PAOLO GORME
News Sports Writer
Homecoming couldn’t have been a better one for the Escambia Academy Cougars this past Friday. After a week full of homecoming festivities, they were visited by the South Choctaw Academy Rebels. After a slow start, EA came out victorious 42-20.
EA received the opening kickoff and was off to a not-so-good start. On third down, Jabe Dawe fumbled the ball and it was recovered by South Choctaw on the Cougars’ 10-yard line. After an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty was called on EA, the Rebels started their drive on the 5-yard line. The Rebels were in the end zone a few plays after and were up 6-0 with 9:35 left.
After EA’s failing to recover an onside kick, the Rebels were back on offense, but they couldn’t convert on a third down and were forced to punt. Backed into their own goal line, EA’s Pat McGhee took the handoff from Dawe and took it all the way to the other end zone for a 98-yard rushing touchdown to put the Cougars on the board. Sam Martin’s extra point was good and the Cougars were up 7-6. Roughly 2 minutes passed in the second quarter and McGhee struck again and rushed for a 30-yard touchdown. Martin did not make the extra point and it was now 13-6. Four minutes passed and McGhee put more points on the board for EA scoring off a 14-yard run with 5:15 left in the half. The 2-point conversion attempt was good and the score was 21-6. Jason Davis scored right before the half from a yard out; with Martin’s extra point good the score at the half was 28-6.
Midway through the third quarter, South Choctaw was on the board again after scoring on a passing touchdown. They were unsuccessful converting a 2-point conversion and the score was 28-12. A minute and 23 seconds went by and McGhee answered with his own 16-yard rushing touchdown. Martin kicked the extra point through the uprights and the Cougars were up 35-12.
Dawe added on a 32-yard run early in the fourth quarter and ended the scoring for EA. South Choctaw scored one last time while both teams’ second string players were in. The final score was 42-20.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the boys because we bounced back after a bad start to the game,” EA Head Coach Hugh Fountain said.
With this win over South Choctaw, the Cougars are region champs and will get home advantage throughout the playoffs.
EA will host Lowndes Academy this Friday and it will serve as Senior Night as well. As always, Go Cougars!