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Decisive EA victory

By By Matthew Nascone
The Escambia Academy football team has had its share of ups and downs this season, but in the past two weeks the most dramatic shift has occurred. After dropping a tough game to Wilcox 27-7 on Homecoming night on Oct. 13, the Cougars traveled to Marion this Friday and walloped Marion Schools 62-14.
"Our guys came out and played real hard," EA head coach Heath Gibson said. "We mixed our looks on offense from a wing-t to a spread offense and kept them off balance. And we had some big plays that broke the lead open."
The Cougars led 42-0 at halftime and boasted four players with triple figures in the rushing yards category. This game seemed like it was played on a video game system with how easily the yards piled up for EA.
Senior fullback Joe Drew touched the rock nine times and compiled 135 yards and two touchdowns. Drew busted a 62-yard touchdown run.
Senior quarterback Cody Norton rushed for 110 yards on five carries and found the end zone four times. He broke two long runs of 34 and 33 yards for touchdowns.
Freshman wingback Jon Dean had 111 yards on five carries with one touchdown. He also broke a big run, with a 70-yard scamper for the end zone.
Senior wingback Kevin Maher completed the foursome of rushing destruction with 104 yards on eight carries and two touchdowns. The team gained 492 total offensive yards on the night and Gibson said he was happy with the effort level after the tough loss the week before.
"I told them going in that we wanted to stay focused even though we were not going to make the playoffs," Gibson said. "I told them to leave the nerves at the house and come out and play relaxed, but intense football. And they responded how I thought they would. I expected great things to happen and they did."
On the defensive side of the ball the first-string defense did not allow a point in the game, as all 14 of Marion's points were scored on the second- and third-string defense.
Leading tacklers for the Cougars were Tra Odom and Cameron McGhee with six tackles each. Ethan Brooks recorded five tackles and recovered a fumble. Jon Dean had one interception.
Gibson said the Cougars hope to take the enthusiasm and aggressiveness from the win in Marion into their final game of the season. They host Faith at 7:30 p.m. next Friday and the seniors will be honored before the game.