By JOSH FRYE
The Escambia County Cougars improved to 2-2 on the season after a solid performance that led to a 38-20 win over Jay (Fla.) High last Friday, September 20.
With EA quarterback Landon Sims leading the offense, EA drew blood early. The game’s first points came when Daughtry McGhee found the endzone on a 2-yard carry. Sims notched the extra point, and the Cougars led, 7-0.
The Royals answered back with just over two minutes left in the first quarter, scoring on a 73-yard run to even the score at 7-7.
EA went back in front for good when Shannon Wheat returned the ensuing kickoff for a 73-yard touchdown. Sims was again successful on the extra point-kick, and EA held a 14-7 lead with two minutes left to go in the first period.
The Cougars continued to dominate during the start of the second period, extending the lead to 21-7 on a Jabo Davis 4-yard run and a Sims PAT kick.
With just over nine minutes left in the half, EA pulled a trick play that left the JHS defense standing.
When the ball was snapped, Sims pretended to hand it off to freshman Christian Crook. The ninth grader followed the script perfectly, and Sims jetted 55 yards downfield, leaving the Royals defense behind. The perfect Sims-Crook skit, followed by another Sims PAT kick, extended the EA lead to 28-7.
The Cougars lengthened the margin before halftime, cashing in on an Orlando Medina 20-yard field goal with three seconds left in the half to make it 31-7 lead at intermission.
Medina went back onto the field for another field goal attempt with five minutes left to play in the third period, but the 39-yard attempt missed wide-right.
Wheat scored on a 35-yard run with 8:05 left to play that turned out to be the last Cougar touchdown of the night. Medina kicked the extra point for a 38-7 advantage.
Jay’s offense began to rally during the team’s next possession. The Royals found the endzone on a 5-yard touchdown run with just over seven minutes left to play in the game, closing their deficit to 38-14.
The JHS defense closed down EA’s offense on the next series of downs, and the Royals scored on a 5-yard run, then added the PAT for the final margin.
Individual stats and comments were not made available by Tuesday’s press deadline.
The Cougars will host Patrician Academy this Friday, September 27. Both teams are currently 1-0 in Class AA, Region 2 play.