Cougars corral Colts to remain unbeaten in region
By JOSH FRYE
The Escambia Academy Cougars wrangled the Hooper Academy Colts 35-14 last Friday, October 11, winning their homecoming contest and cementing their AISA Class AA, Region 2 lead.
The game marked the 11th regular season meeting of the two teams, and the victory extended EA’s overall meeting record against Hooper to 7-4.
Senior Ty Williams scored three touchdowns to lead the EA offense.
The Cougars started the contest out strong with an early Daughtry McGhee 12-yard rush into the endzone. Orlando Medina followed with the extra-point kick, and EA led by seven.
With 4:32 left to play in the first period, McGhee bobbled a punt return that was recovered by HA. The fumble would be the first of four for the Cougars during the game.
The EA defense, led by senior Jabo Davis, held the Colts at bay, forcing another turnover. On the next offensive series, Cougars quarterback Landon Sims connected on a 37-yard strike to Williams. Medina’s PAT kick extended the EA lead to 14-0.
The EA fumbles continued during the start of the second quarter as Williams bobbled a punt return, resulting in another turnover. A bad snap forced an HA fumble and a Cougars recovery.
Following the stroke of good luck, Williams brought down a 28-yard missile from Sims, setting up a McGhee 10-yard rush into the endzone. Medina notched in the PAT, and the Cougars extended the lead to 21-0.
With just over five minutes left to play in the half, Shannon Wheat bolted through a hole in the HA defense and rushed 80 yards into the endzone. Wheat’s effort went for naught, though, when the TD was called back due to a holding call.
A loose ball during a run on the next play forced another Cougars fumble, but EA’s luck stuck again when it recovered the loose ball. That second stroke of good luck aided in setting up a 29-yard Sims-to-Williams scoring dart, followed up with the extra-point kick, and EA held a 28-0 lead.
Williams struck again during the final seconds of the second quarter, hauling in a Sims pass for 23 yards and another Cougars score. With the extra-point kick, EA led 35-0.
The Cougars started the third quarter by giving up the ball on another fumble that set up a 42-yard Hooper scoring strike.
Midway into the third quarter, with EA leading 35-7, Cameron Cloud took over at quarterback for the Cougars. With six minutes left to go, Cloud connected with senior Brice McCullough on a 46-yard pass. The big gain was called back due to a flag, and the Cougars were forced to punt the ball away.
The fourth quarter featured the third EA quarterback of the evening, as freshman Jacob Lee replaced Cloud.
The HA offense managed a last-minute scoring drive that was capped by a 30-yard touchdown pass, and EA walked away with the homecoming victory.
Individual stats and coach’s comments were not made available by Tuesday’s press deadlines.
The Cougars will kick off a two-week road series this Friday, October 18, when they travel to meet South Choctaw in a key region encounter.