BY JOSH FRYE
For the fifth straight season, Escambia Academy is state championship-bound after defeating Macon-East Montgomery Academy 54-13 in their AISA Class 2A state semifinals showdown last Friday, November 13.
Landon Sims, Daughtry McGhee, Caleb Davis and Bubba Nettles helped guide the Cougars past the Knights.
After Macon-East drew first blood, Sims gained the first of EA’s points by way of a 66-yard touchdown run with just under eight minutes left to play in the first quarter. Sims added the extra-point kick to tie it.
Less than seven minutes later, Davis returned a fumble more than 70 yards for his first touchdown of the year, launching EA to a 13-7 advantage.
Then Nettles took over, tallying second-period touchdown runs of 39 and 25 yards. Devin Kelley ran in for two-extra points after the first Nettles scoring run, and the Cougars led 27-7 at the half.
Sims picked up the scoring in the third quarter when the snap was botched on a field goal attempt. Sims picked up the ball, dropped back and connected with Randall Bonds on a 35-yard TD pass and a 33-7 advantage.
McGhee helped pile up insurance points, scoring on a 2-yard run in the third quarter, then again after bringing down a 50-yard pass from Sims, who kicked the PAT after the second score.
With just over a minute left in the game, Sam Thompson found the endzone for the first time this season, rushing in from 4 yards out.
The Knights scored their second touchdown of the night shortly thereafter, but the clock ran out on all hopes for a rally, and EA punched its ticket for a fifth straight state championship appearance.
“I could not be any prouder of these kids,” EA head coach Hugh Fountain said. “It is always big when you make it to the show for five years in a row, but the entire season rests on this one game.”
The Cougars will face Chambers Academy this Friday, November 20, at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, for the state championship..
News photo by Ditto Gorme