EA kicks off the season against Starkville

News Sports Writer

The Escambia Academy Cougars kicked off their football season with a trip to Petal, Mississippi, to play the Starkville Academy Volunteers at Petal High School. The game marks Cougar Head Coach Gex Billups’s first game after a promotion to athletic director.
The Cougars got their first point of the season with a 30-yard pass by Keller Coston to Quinten Odom for a touchdown with 5 minutes left in the first quarter. The extra point was no good, marking a 6-0 lead by the Cougars.
After being blocked by the Cougars at the end zone, the Volunteers put some points on the board with a 16-yard field goal with a minute left in the first quarter for a score of 6-3.
The Volunteers claimed the first points of the second quarter 3 minutes in with a 6-yard carry into the end zone, bringing the score to 6-10 with a good extra kick.
The Volunteers followed this up with another touchdown 6 minutes later after a 47-yard carry. The extra point brought them to an 11-point lead over the Cougars.
A 20-yard pass from Coston to Odom marked another touchdown with 30 seconds left before the half. A failed 2-point conversion left the score at 12-17 going into the half.
The third quarter saw a Volunteer touchdown and a good kick with 30 seconds left in the quarter, bringing the score to 12-24.
The Volunteers gained 2 additional points from a safety in the end zone 3 minutes into the fourth quarter, adding to the score and making the game 12-26.
A 4-yard carry got the Volunteers another touchdown; the kick, taken back by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, was no good, leading the score up to 32-12.
After a punt by the Cougars, the Volunteers ran in the ball for a 40-yard touchdown halfway through the fourth quarter. A good kick made the score 12-39.
With 3 minutes left in the fourth quarter, Coston made a 70-yard run for the end zone. A successful 2-point conversion brought the final score to 20-39.
Quinten Odom finished the game with the most receiving yards at 131; Coston completed 160 passing yards throughout the game. Luke Bell finished with the most tackles, with 4 tackles and 3 assists; he was followed closely by Odom and Charlie Sasser, who each made 2 tackles and 1 assist.
The Cougars will travel to Montgomery, Friday, August 25, to face off against the Valiant Cross Academy Warriors. The game will be livestreamed on Escambia Academy’s Facebook and YouTube pages, so be sure to tune in as the Cougar football team plays its first AISA game of the season!