By PATRICK BYRD
News Sports Writer
Friday, September 16, saw the Escambia Academy Cougars lining up on Bachelor Field to take on the Jackson Academy Eagles of Jackson, Ala. The Cougars sought to gain their first win of the season, while the Eagles were looking for their fifth; one of these wins was against the Clarke Prep School, whom the Cougars lost to earlier in the season. The two teams have not come against each other on the football field since the 2017 season, when the Cougars won 35-0 at Jackson.
The Cougar captains, juniors Devin Kelly (#5), Charlie Sasser (#56), and Zeke McElhaney (#57) met midfield before the game to meet the opposing captains and the referees. The coin toss was won by the Eagles, who chose to defer to the second half.
Jackson kicked off, which was caught by Jacob Lee, #1 for the Cougars. A quick turnover led to an Eagle touchdown with 8 minutes left on the clock, and a successful 2-point conversion brought the score to 8-0.
One more touchdown by Jackson with 6 seconds left in the quarter after a 1-yard carry and another successful 2-pointer made the score 16-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The Cougars fought to advance the ball in the second quarter, and a 26-yard carry by Samorion Clark (#22) brought the Cougars to the 2-yard line. The Cougars fought hard here to get the ball to the end zone, and a successful carry by Lee marked a Cougar touchdown with 4 minutes left ‘til the half. The Cougars unsuccessfully attempted a 2-point conversion, and the score was brought to 16-6.
Jackson did not let the Cougars have the final say of the half, however; an 8-yard carry brought them a touchdown with a successful attempt for 2 points with 2 minutes left until the half brought the score to 24-6.
One last blow was dealt by Jackson when 2 plays later, they intercepted a 35-yard pass to regain possession of the ball. This led to a 17-yard carry bringing the Eagles the final touchdown of the half. A personal foul for a horse-collar tackle was called against the Cougars on this play, and the yardage was reflected on the Eagles’ successful 2-point conversion. The score was 32-6 going into the half.
Jackson received the ball beginning the third quarter and scored a subsequent touchdown 4 minutes later; the 2-point conversion was successful, making the score 40-6.
A 47-yard carry after a fake by Lee brought the Cougars close to the end zone, giving Devin Kelly (#5) a chance to score a touchdown after catching a 16-yard pass. The Cougars were brought down during the 2-point attempt, leaving the score 40-12 at the end of the third quarter.
The Eagles got the last say during the fourth quarter when a 2-yard carry with 8 minutes left on the clock brought the final touchdown of the game. The Eagles successfully went for 2, making the final score 48-12.
The Cougars gained a total 108 yards during the game. Sixty of these were passing yards by quarterback Jacob Lee; 31 were received by Christian Crook (#3), and 26 received by Samorion Clark. Ty McCants carried the ball for 40 of the Cougars’ 48 rushing yards.
Lee also made the most tackles throughout the game, making 4 tackles and 1 assist. Charlie Sasser (#56) and Cameron Ball (#12) each had two tackles as well for second place.
“They were more physical than us; I thought the more physical team would win the game,” Cougar head coach Brandon Wilcox said. “Credit to them, they were the more physical football team tonight.”
“We’ve just got to come together as a team and play better,” Cougar defensive coordinator Gex Billups said.
The Cougars will be at home once again this Friday facing the Warriors of Valiant Cross Academy from Montgomery. Come out and support the team for this non-region game!