Big bad Bessemer next up for Eagles
Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 9, 2006
With their backs against the wall, the Fort Dale Academy Eagles stepped up and refused to go home Friday as they held on in double overtime, 26-20, over the Macon-East Knights.
Eagles head coach James “Speed” Sampley said that's exactly what his team has done all season, reeling off eight consecutive wins since losing to Faith Academy, 47-0, in Week 3.
“We've played pretty good together all year,” Sampley said. “But they pulled together when things looked down Friday and got the job done.”
One player who stepped up huge for the Eagles was Blake Mullins, who finished the game with 125 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns.
Mullins and fellow running back Mika Jones both have more than 1,000 all-purpose yards this season.
“They've both done a good job all year long,” Sampley said. “They're not selfish, they run when they're asked and they block when they're asked.”
The Fort Dale offense will need both Mullins and Jones as this week's opponent, the No. 1 ranked Bessemer Academy Rebels, will present a problem for the Eagles both offensively and defensively.
Sampley said the biggest key for his Eagles defensively is obvious.
“We can't miss tackles,” Sampley said. “That's the biggest thing, first of all.”
The Bessemer offense is led by running back Walter Arrington and quarterback Morgan Ogilvie, son of former Alabama Crimson Tide star Major Ogilvie.
“Walter Arrington is the center point of their offense,” Sampley said. “Ogilvie does a good job of running their offense, but it all goes through Walter first.”
While the Eagles have thrived on the running game, Sampley said his team must be able to throw the ball on offense in order to win.
“We're going to have to throw the football,” Sampley said. “We'll have to mix it up against a team like Bessemer.”
The Eagles have fallen to the Rebels the last two years, 26-8 in 2004 and 20-0 in 2005, but Sampley said his team knows what to expect and championships in AISA Class AAA have to go through Bessemer and Faith.
Kickoff for Friday night's game at Bessemer Academy has been moved up to 7 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased in advance at Fort Dale Academy and the proceeds will go directly to Fort Dale, otherwise tickets must be purchased at the gate and those proceeds go directly to Bessemer Academy.