By PAOLO GORME
News Sports Writer
On October 26, the Escambia Academy Cougars played their last regular season game in Greenville, Ala. They faced the Fort Dale Academy Eagles and took home a 48-13 victory to Canoe.
Pat McGhee once again had a dominant night racking up 214 yards on the ground with 4 touchdowns. Jabe Dawe added a touchdown pass to Chase Bell and a touchdown run. Cameron Cloud and Sam Fields were able to connect on a touchdown pass late in the game as well.
Fort Dale won the toss and elected to receive the opening kick. They were forced to punt the ball after a 3 and out. EA’s offense drove the ball downfield and drew first blood on the scoreboard. McGhee scored on a 9-yard rushing touchdown with 8:51 left in the first quarter. Sam Martin’s extra point was through the uprights and the Cougars took a 7-0 early lead. Five and a half minutes later, McGhee took the handoff from Dawe and took it 45 yards to the house for his second touchdown of the night. Martin was good on the extra point attempt and the score was 14-0.
On the ensuing kickoff, Fort Dale fumbled the kick and EA was able to recover the ball. A few plays after, Dawe connected with receiver Bell on an out route and Bell took it to the house from 26 yards out. The point after was good and the Cougars led 21-0.
Midway through the second quarter, McGhee ran through the Eagles’ defense and took it 75 yards for another 6 points. At this point in the ball game, EA was up 28 to nothing. The Eagles managed to score off a passing touchdown with less than a minute left in the half. The score at the half was 28-6.
To kick off the second half, Fort Dale decided to kick an onside kick and the Cougars were able to safely field the ball. Within 13 seconds, McGhee was able to find the end zone again from 52 yards out. The point after by Martin was blocked and the score was 34-6. EA recovered a fumble with 10:35 left on Fort Dale’s 47-yard line. Unfortunately, the Cougars were not able to capitalize on the turnover. EA recovered another fumble with 7:06 on the clock on Fort Dale’s 49-yard line. On this turnover, Dawe was able to take the ball 33 yards for a touchdown with 4:18 left. Martin’s extra point was good making the score 41-6.
Fort Dale was able to score with 12 seconds left in the third quarter from 5 yards out and the score was 41-13.
The lone score of the fourth quarter came from Fields. Backup quarterback Cloud’s pass was tipped and was caught by Fields who took it 35 yards for the score. Parker Robinson was on for the point after attempt and his kick was good and the final score was 48-13.
The first round of playoffs starts this week, Nov. 2. Coosa Valley Academy will come to Canoe to face the Cougars. The Cougars look to end the playoffs in Troy to defend their state championship. Go, Cougars!