By PATRICK BYRD
News Sports Writer
The Escambia Academy football team traveled to LaFayette, Alabama, on Friday, November 3, to open the 2023 AISA AA playoffs against the Chambers Academy Rebels.
Cougar captains Quinten Odom, Tyler McCants, and Charlie Sasser met with the referees and the Chambers captains for the coin toss. The Cougars won, deferring their reception to the second half.
The Rebels made the first touchdown of the game with a 10-yard carry 2 minutes into the first quarter. The 2-point attempt was successful, making the first board of the game 8-0.
Following a turnover, Carson Wilson caught a 15-yard interception from the Rebels to put the ball back in Cougar hands; however, the ball was turned over once again to the Rebels. They used this soon after the turnover to run the ball in after a pass. The 2-point conversion was good, bringing the score up to 16-0.
After a Cougar turnover, the Rebels made yet another touchdown with a 14-yard carry. The 2-point conversion attempt failed, leaving the Rebels with a 22-point lead with 3 minutes left in the first quarter.
The Rebels added to their score once again with a 15-yard carry to the end zone. The kick was no good, putting them up 28-0.
To begin the second quarter, Chambers scored with a 40-yard carry following a pass for the touchdown; the extra point attempt was bad, leaving them up 34-0.
The Cougars put their first points on the board 2 minutes into the second quarter after Quinten Odom received a pass from Keller Coston and ran the ball 50 yards for the touchdown. The 2-point attempt failed, and an unsportsmanlike conduct call against the Cougars set the following kick for the Rebels forward 15 yards.
After getting downed on the goal line, the Rebels pushed another touchdown through with 4 minutes remaining in the half. The good kick brought the score to 41-6 going into halftime.
The Cougars gained the first touchdown of the second half with a 25-yard pass from Coston to Odom; the 2-point attempt was no good, leaving the Cougars down 41-12.
Chambers made yet another touchdown with 6 minutes remaining in the game after completing a 25-yard pass. The go-for-2 was good, putting the score at 49-12.
The Rebels made their next touchdown with 1 minute remaining with a pick-6. The 2-point attempt was no good leaving a score of 55-12.
Escambia made a touchdown after Charlie Sasser advanced the ball; following this, Odom made a touchdown with a 20-yard pass from Coston in the last play. No extra point attempt was made, putting the Cougars out of the playoffs with a final score of 55-18.
The Cougars are extremely thankful for all the community support they have received throughout the season, especially through setback and injury, and they greatly appreciate continued support heading into basketball season. The team has made the most of this season and looks forward to the other athletic endeavors this year has in store. Thank you all, and go Cougars!