By JOSH FRYE
After taking down the top ranked teams and grasping the number one slot within the AISA standings during the first three weeks of the season, Escambia Academy continued to steamroll during week four, blanking Wilcox Academy Friday, September 10, 43-0.
Going into last Friday’s game, head coach Hugh Fountain said the EA Cougars had been improving on avoiding penalties. According to Fountain, the Cougars’ style of play is much more physical than some other teams and sometimes that means chances to draw penalties can become greater. Eliminating penalties has been the team’s main focus over the past few weeks.
Fountain added that EA’s special teams has been playing well. So far this season, Landon Sims has missed no extra-point kick attempts and only one kick has been blocked.
During Friday’s game against Wilcox, EA’s work during the prior week practices was evident. Sims started scoring for the Cougars with a 47-yard run and successful 2-point conversion attempt. With 4:47 left to play in the first, EA’s Devin Kelly picked off a Wilcox pass attempt which set up Christian Crook’s 20-yard scoring rush on the following play. After a Sims’ extra-point boot, the Cougars held a 15-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
During the second quarter, Wilcox’s defense was able to keep the Cougars from reaching the endzone until EA’s Kelly punched another touchdown as time expired before the half. Kelly’s score and another successful extra-point kick by Sims extended the Cougars’ lead to 22-0 at the half.
During third quarter action, a 22-yard scamper by Sims with 10:41 left in the quarter helped extend EA’s advantage to 36-0. The Cougars’ final score of the night came from a Bubba Nettles 2-yard run with 5 minutes left in the third. After an extra-point boot by Sims, EA closed out with a final score of 43-0.
Fountain said the region win against the Wilcox Wildcats will aid tremendously in securing a playoff position.
“Every region game is important,” Fountain said. “Region wins are what take a team into the playoffs. To have two region wins would most certainly help us to not be eliminated from making the playoffs.”
With a fourth straight win this season, two region wins and no BYE week on schedule, EA advances to week 5 of the season with a season record of 4-0 and region record of 2-0.
The Cougars will travel just over the state line to Bratt, Fla. this Friday, September 17, to face area rival Northview High School for non-region action.