Eagles sprint past Colts, 26-14

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 2, 2006

After an emotionally charged victory over Edgewood last week, Fort Dale Academy Head Coach James &#8220Speed” Sampley knew his team was due for a let down.

And they may have stumbled some out of the gate, but the Eagles still had more than enough firepower to down Hooper Academy 26-14 on Friday night.

&#8220We kind of expected we wouldn't play up to our potential this week because Edgewood was such a bit emotional win for us to start the season,” said Sampley. The No. 9 Eagles knocked off Edgewood last week 7-6 in a battle of Top Ten teams. &#8220And we had been talking so much about them (Edgewood) for really the whole summer. It's hard to get up two weeks in a row. But Hooper played hard. Right down to the end.”

Sampley said Fort Dale is still trying to find consistency on offense.

An example?

Eagles' linebacker Blake Mullins intercepted a Colts pass in the first quarter and returned it 22 yards to give Fort Dale an early 7-0 lead. But the Eagles' offense fumbled on a reverse play the next series, which resulted in Hooper cashing in the turnover for a 9-yard touchdown run. The point after failed, but FDA only led 7-6 with 4:44 remaining in the first quarter.

&#8220That's killing us right now,” said Sampley.

Following the Hooper score, Fort Dale junked the trick plays and went to its ground game led by senior running back Mika Jones. On fourth and three at the Colts' 22-yard line, Jones sprinted left, ran through the tackle of a Hooper linebacker and scored the go-ahead touchdown.

&#8220I just ran to the hole, saw the linebacker and I thought he was going to tackle me,” said Jones, who finished the game with 65 yards on 15 carries and two scores. &#8220I just kept pushing and got off him somehow.”

Sampley said Jones' run exemplified what the Eagles' practice.

&#8220We work on bouncing it (running plays) if there's nothing there,” said Sampley. &#8220He (Jones) did a good job. He's getting healthy finally and if he can get healthy it will make a difference.”

Jones added another touchdown run, this time from three yards out with 3:27 remaining in the second quarter.

The Colts' tried to respond. An over-the-shoulder catch by Thomas Faulkner was good for 39 yards to the Eagles' 17-yard line.

But the Fort Dale defense held its ground and the Eagles led 19-6 at halftime.

The Eagles came out passing in the second half. The big play was 42-yard catch and run by wide receiver Dalton Gregory. On fourth down, Gregory hauled in quarterback Ty Newton's pass near the sidelines, broke several tackles and raced 42 yards for the touchdown. Fort Dale increased its lead to 26-6.

Newton was 8-of-16 for 125 yards with the one touchdown.

&#8220We're going to have to run it to be successful, but we want to try and throw it some,” said Sampley. &#8220And I think we probably threw it okay tonight. But we have to be able to run it consistently in order to beat good people.”

Fort Dale held Hooper to 141 total yards. Gregory had seven tackles and two sacks, while Matt Causey and Barry Boan each added five tackles apiece.

&#8220Defensively, we played well tonight,” said Sampley.

The Eagles host Faith Academy next Friday night. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.