The cougars beat Chambers; look towards the championship
By JOSH FRYE
After a disappointing end last season in the AISA Championship game against Chambers Academy, the Escambia Academy football team proudly raise their heads this week after dismantling the Rebels, 37-13, last Friday (November 12) during The AISA Class 2A State Semifinals, launching them to a sixth consecutive appearance in a championship game.
Last season, Chambers sent EA to pack their bags after beating the Cougars, 36-34, in the AISA Championship. In fact, EA has never defeated Chambers Academy, until now. In a game where everything counted, EA’s Landon Sims and Bubba Nettles each scored 2 touchdowns to help throw the Cougars past Chambers.
The nettles started early for the Cougars, scoring on a 2-yard touchdown with 4:24 left in the first quarter. After the Nettles’ opener, Sims was unable to start in the extra point attempt as the kick left the goal post. With the failed basket, the Cougars led 6-0.
In the second quarter, Sims broke free on a quarterback keeper and ran 45 yards down for the score. After the touchdown, Nettles scored on a 2-point conversion run and EA extended the lead to 14-0. Minutes later, Nettles scored his second touchdown of the night when he scored on a 5-yard rush. Sims started in the point after the touchdown kick and the Cougars led, 21-0.
After Nettles’ second score, Chambers finally breathed life when the Rebels took the lead with a 15-yard TY Trammell touchdown. After the Chambers’ touchdown and extra kick, EA led 21-7.
With just over 2 minutes to go in the first half, Sims scored his second touchdown after rushing 7 yards. Sims also started the extra kick and EA led 28-7. After the score, Chambers tried to gain momentum with seconds left, but a strong defensive presence from EA ended the Rebels’ hope.
EA’s Maliki Haynes scored in the second half for the Cougars when he fought a 5-yard pass from the Sims for a touchdown. The Haynes score extended the lead to 34-7 with 3:02 to go in the third.
In the fourth quarter, a long run by the Sims for a touchdown was recalled due to a blockage in the back. Instead, the Cougars were content with a Sims field kick from 29 yards and EA led, 37-7, with 6:35 left.
With EA holding a large lead, Trammell broke free late for an 11-yard touchdown, but time ran out for a Rebels comeback and the Cougars left the field with a taste for the team’s redemption. last year that cost them a championship.
With Chambers now out of sight, EA has one last major task ahead which comes in the form of the team that handed the Cougars their only loss this season, Autauga. Earlier this year, Autauga beat EA in the regular season, 31-17. In fact, this year marks the sixth consecutive year that EA has appeared in the AISA State Championship game. Of those six appearances, EA has faced Autauga five times for the Championship and has won only once.
According to head coach Hugh Fountain, EA has worked consistently this season to improve in all aspects, including eliminating penalties. The Cougars’ work and luck will be put to the test this Friday (November 19) as EA travels to face Autauga at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery at 3:30 p.m. for the AISA Class 2A State title.