By JOSH FRYE
Escambia Academy’s Bubba Nettles scored four times and Landon Sims scored twice during EA’s 59-47 victory over Glenwood Academy last Friday, August 27.
On Friday, August 20, the Cougars gained the number one slot in the AISA standings with a victory over Pike Liberal Arts. Last Friday’s victory over number 2 ranked Glenwood sealed the number 1 slot for EA as the grueling season schedule continues.
Despite an early game lead by way of a Sims 15-yard touchdown with 7:48 left to play in the first, the Cougars learned that the Gators were not a team that would be silenced quickly. Glenwood answered the Sims score with a 16-yard touchdown pass with just over 2 minutes left to play in the first quarter, and at the end of 1, EA held only an 8-7 advantage.
During the second quarter, Nettles opened scoring within the first 5 seconds of the quarter with a 2-yard run. Nettles then struck again with 9:14 left in the first half and gained the Cougars a 23-7 lead. With 7:39 left on the clock during the second quarter, the Gators answered back with a long 56-yard untouched run and Glenwood trailed, 23-13.
As Glenwood desperately attempted to regain control before halftime, Nettles scored his third touchdown of the night with a long 32-yard run. The Nettles run and an extra point boot by Sims helped launch EA to a 17-point lead. However, Glenwood gained the last shot of the half with an 88-yard touchdown run and the first half closed out with EA leading, 30-19.
During the second half, the Glenwood Gators came out swinging during the third quarter, scoring on an 8-yard trek. Sims answered back on the very first play of EA’s next drive with a long, 30-plus-yard run, setting up Nettles for his fourth touchdown run. After a 22-yard scamper by Nettles and another Sims extra-point boot, the Cougars led, 37-25.
Christian Crook continued to extend the lead for EA with a 2-yard touchdown run with 2:24 left in the third and after a Nettles 2-point conversion, the Cougars held a 45-25 advantage. Glenwood closed out the quarter with another long 75-yard touchdown run and at the end of the third quarter, EA led 45-33.
During the opening drive of the fourth quarter, the Gators attempted to regain control with a 1-yard touchdown run. The score was again answered by a Sims 6-yard touchdown run with 9:45 left to play. Following the Sims score, Crook notched in his second touchdown of the night with 3:42 left and after another Sims extra-point kick, the Cougars led, 59-39.
Glenwood scored with just over a minute left to play, but the Gators were unable to put together another scoring drive as the time clock ticked down to zero.
With the win, EA continues hopes that this year will bring their first undefeated season in school history. With the pre-season previously ranked number 1 and 2 teams shut down by the Cougars already this season, that dream could become a reality, but with a talent-packed season schedule, the Cougars will have to fight their way through at least 9 more opponents before light shines at the end of the tunnel. With the victory, EA retains the number one AISA ranking as they get set to host Patrician Academy this Friday, September 3, for the first home game of the season.
News photo courtesy of Pamela Smith