By PATRICK BYRD
News Sports Writer
The Escambia Academy Cougars returned to Bachelor Field one last time for the 2023 season’s Senior Night on October 27. For this occasion, the Cougars faced the Fort Dale Academy Eagles from Greenville, Alabama.
The game began with recognition of the Senior Class of 2024 cheerleaders, dancer and football players. These included cheerleaders Mary Ruth Dortch, Tava Johnson, Scottla Williams, and Scottlia Williams; dancer Makaila Rodriguez; and football players Quinten Odom, Carson Wilson, Luke Bell, Timmy Doerr, Charlie Sasser, and Zeke McElhaney.
These six football players represented the Cougars as captains to meet the Eagle captains for the coin toss. Escambia won the toss, choosing to receive to begin the game.
With 30 seconds remaining in the first quarter, the Cougars put the first points on the board with a 5-yard run by Keller Coston, followed by a successful 2-point conversion through a pass from Coston to Odom, giving the Cougars an 8-point lead.
Fort Dale responded with a 25-yard carry into the end zone 1 minute into the second quarter, finishing with a good kick to put the scoreboard at 7-8.
Fort Dale added once again with a 10-yard carry for the touchdown, followed by another good kick; this gave the Eagles the lead for the first time at 14-8.
The Cougars gained 6 more points after a 20-yard pass made its way from Coston to Odom into the end zone. The 2-point conversion failed to break the plane, leaving the game tied at 14-14.
Six minutes after the half, the Eagles added to their score with a 5-yard carry into the end zone, giving them the lead once again; the kick was good, stacking their lead to 21-14.
They continued with another 5-yard carry 2 minutes into the final quarter to reach the end zone, and they followed this with a good kick to bring their lead up to 28-14.
The Cougars added their final points for the game with a 93-yard return by Odom after receiving the kick from the last Eagle touchdown. The 2-point conversion was completed by Y McNeal, narrowing the Eagle lead to 28-22.
The Eagles would score the last points of the game after a fake play allowed them to make a 50-yard run for the touchdown; the good kick marked the final score at 35-22.
The Cougars will travel to LaFayette, Alabama, next week for the first round of playoffs against the Chambers Academy Rebels.
The Cougars greatly appreciate your support throughout the season, and you can tune in to the livestream of this round on EA’s Facebook, YouTube, or X (formerly Twitter) pages.