Fort Dale pounds VolunteersBodie Pickens

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 24, 2005

MONROEVILLE – The Fort Dale Eagles scored an impressive 40-8 area road victory over Monroe Academy Friday Night.

The Eagles now boast a 3-0 area record and have clinched a berth in the AISA playoffs.

Fort Dale Head Coach James &uot;Speed&uot; Sampley came away thankful for the hard-fought road win over their area rival.

&uot;We did what we had to do tonight,&uot; he said.

&uot;For the most part, the team played well.&uot;

The Eagles (4-1) scored 26 unanswered points after the Volunteers shaved the Fort Dale lead to 14-8 in the second quarter.

As the case with every game this season, many players contributed in the win.

&uot;We play together as a team.

We are all aiming at the same goal,&uot; Sampley said. &uot;That goal is to get better with every game and see what happens.&uot;

What happened in the win Friday night had everything to do with the Eagles’ offensive and defensive units.

Both units showed flashes of brilliance as the offense sported a balanced attack while the defense only gave up a total of 122 yards.

&uot;Our defense has played good all year long,&uot; Sampley said.

Fort Dale’s self proclaimed Gulf Coast offense produced 331 total yards via 184 on the ground and 147 through the air.

&uot;Casey Weston passed the ball effective tonight and our running game came thru again,&uot; Sampley said.

Weston completed 11 of 17 passes with the highlight being a 15-yard TD pass to senior tailback Tim James.

As for James, he had his hand in four touchdowns on various situations.

The senior had two rushing scores, a touchdown reception as well as a 35-yard fumble return for a touchdown.

James had 12 carries for 103 yards with 101 coming in the first half.

Junior Peter McGowin had 45 yards on six rushes along with a game-breaking TD in the third quarter.

&uot;In general, we mixed it up on offense.

However, adjustments were made through out the game,&uot; Sampley said.

The Eagles’ receivers were led by seniors Brady Newton and Ben Coker.

Both had 48 yards receiving as Newton snagged two catches and Coker took in four catches.

As for the defense, the unit was led by McGowin with a game high 13 tackles.

Juniors Dalton Gregory had 11 tackles and Cory Johnson chipped in with eight takedowns.

Senior defensive back Liston Crosby and Newton each helped the cause with an interception apeice.

&uot;We’re fortunate that we took advantage of those turnovers,&uot; Sampley said.

The Eagles scored two touchdowns as a direct result of a couple of these Monroe Academy turnovers.

Fort Dale opened the game with a 9-play 72-yard drive for a touchdown as James stiffarmed his way to the endzone on a 24-yard run.

Ten seconds later, the Eagles tacked on another TD as James picked up a Volunteer fumble and raced 35-yards for the endzone.

With 8:15 left in the first period, Fort Dale had a quick 14-0 lead.

However, momentum eased from the Eagles’ sideline to the Volunteers’ sideline in the second quarter.

Eagle’s QB Weston fell victim to a safety as Monroe Academy’s Alex Dueitt blindsided the sophomore with 5:02 remaining in the half.

Shortly thereafter, Fort Dale turned the ball over while trying to field a punt.

The Volunteers capitalized off the turnover as QB Trent Dawson hooked up with Thomas Williams on a 10-yard TD pass with 2:26 left in the second quarter.

The Volunteers only trailed 14-8 at this point.

On the kickoff, the Eagles fell prone to another turnover as Monroe Academy had the ball at the Eagles’ 33-yard line.

When it looked like MA was going to take the lead, the momentum went back to Fort Dale’s sidelines…for good.

Newton intercepted a pass at the goal line and ran 21 yards with 1:12 left in the half.

The offense then took over and produced a quick, exciting half-ending TD to widen the margin 20-8 at the half.

James scored on a 26-yard run with time running out as he eluded Volunteers left and right.

&uot;That was one of the turning points of the game,&uot; Sampley said.

&uot;That interception and that drive gave us a huge emotional lift going into halftime.&uot;

During halftime, Sampley challenged his team.

The Eagles responded by reeling off 20 unanswered points on the Volunteers.

McGowin led the first scoring drive in the third quarter.

He scored on a 28-yard run after hitting up the Vols for 19 on the previous carry.

With 9:30 left in the third, it was 26-8.

In the process, Sampley re-opened up the passing game as Weston hit receivers left and right.

&uot;When they (Monroe Academy) put 11 men in the box, they left our receivers wide open.

So wide open that it was like taking candy from a baby,&uot; he said.

Fort Dale added to the lead on their next possession.

This 4-play 61-yard

drive was capped off by a 15-yard screen pass to James.

The senior bobbed

and weaved thru ongoing traffic for the 33-8 lead.

The Eagles closed the

game with another TD for the 40-8 win.

&uot;It always good to come away with a road win over one of your rivals,&uot;

Sampley said.

Fort Dale returns home next Friday as the Eagles host Lee-Scott for