By JOSH FRYE
Escambia Academy suffered a heart-wrenching, 21-20 road loss to Presbyterian Christian School of Hattiesburg, Miss. on Friday, August 23, in EA’s first matchup of the 2019 season.
The game against the Bobcats marked the first time in school history that the Cougars have traveled to Mississippi to play a football game. EA has hosted the Bobcats in the past.
Cougars kicker Orlando Medea footed the ball deep to the Bobcats to start the contest, but the PCS offense provided a strong showing. In the first drive of the game the home team moved the ball up the middle and was helped by a pair of flags against EA.
After a near-disastrous fumble, the Bobcats lined up in the shotgun formation from the Cougars 11-yard line, with just under 50 seconds left in the first quarter.
PCS quarterback Collin Necaise handed the ball off to Briggs Sumrall, who scored to draw the first blood of the contest. A successful PAT kick ended the first quarter with a 7-0 PCS lead.
The Cougars defense, led by senior Jabo Davis, stood up to the Bobcats during the start of the second quarter.
The defensive stance was rewarded when the Cougars scored a touchdown at the second quarter’s 1:16 mark when Davis drove through a pile of players and into the end zone.
One official raised a touchdown sign on the play, as he thought Davis broke the plain, but another official over-ruled the call, and EA was forced to continue.
Sims decided to drive the ball in himself on the next play, from the two-yard line, and the Cougars scored their first points of the game. Medea’s PAT kick tied the score at 7-7.
The deadlock remained throughout the third quarter, with neither team gaining much to speak of.
“I was really happy with the guys’ will to fight,” said EA head coach Hugh Fountain. “They didn’t give up or give in.”
EA’s will to fight continued for much of the game until the Bobcats took advantage of an EA facemask penalty that led to Ricco Dorsey’s touchdown run up the middle. The PAT kick gave PCS a 14-7 lead.
Penalties plagued the Cougars, but things finally settled down. On a series of keepers, Sims struck at the Bobcats defense once again. His 16-yard scamper with 2:39 left to go, followed by another Medea PAT, produced a 14-14 deadlock.
With both teams registering a tie score at the end of four quarters, the contest launched into overtime.
EA received the ball first in overtime, and Sims connected with Tiquale Taylor on a 24-yard pass for a touchdown and a 20-14 lead. Medea missed wide-right on the PAT, which proved fatal for EA.
The Bobcats then drove for a touchdown and added the PAT to claim the one-point win.
“Football is a game of inches,” Fountain said. “Every inch and every play count. We have to fix the little things and stop making mistakes and drawing penalties.”
EA has a bye this week and will host Tuscaloosa Academy on Friday, Sept. 6.