Eagles prepare for second Top 10 opponent

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Just two weeks after downing the No. 7 Edgewood Wildcats, the No. 9 Fort Dale Eagles return to action this week to take on another Top 10 opponent in the No. 3 Faith Mighty Rams.

Fort Dale head coach James &#8220Speed” Sampley said Faith (1-1) has been and will be one of the Eagles' toughest opponents and the team must prepare for a great team.

&#8220The most obvious (strength for Faith) is they have numbers,” Sampley said.

Faith Academy has approximately 1,700 students opposed to Fort Dale's 500.

&#8220They'll have a numerical advantage,” Sampley said

Sampley said the Mighty Rams also have two sets of offensive and defensive linemen opposed to most of the Eagles having to play both ways.

The Eagles game plan, according to Sampley, is simple but executing it will be difficult due to the Mighty Rams' talent.

&#8220We are going to have to keep the ball away from them and play good defense because they are an impressive bunch of folks,” Sampley said. &#8220We have to make sure we execute because we haven't consistently moved the ball.”

After two weeks of the season, Sampley's Eagles has seen its share of injuries, although many players are returning to full strength.

Junior lineman Jeremy Huckaba had surgery on his knee this week and will miss the rest of season while Ben Callen is recovering from a hip flexor two weeks ago and either a broke or dislocated finger this week.

Senior running back Mika Jones, the Eagles' leading rusher and scorer, also had a hip flexor two weeks ago and is almost back to full speed.

Callen and Jones should be ready to go Friday night.

Faith defeated the Eagles last season, 27-12, in the seventh game of the season but has struggled at the beginning of this season.

The Mighty Rams fell to No. 2 Bessemer Academy in week one 12-0 but then regrouped to down No. 5 Clarke Prep Friday night, 27-12.

Kickoff for Friday night's Top 10 showdown at Fort Dale is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.