Vols get revenge, drop Eagles from playoffs, 20-6

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 30, 2002

Fort Dale Academy saw its dreams of a state championship shattered Friday night in a 20-6 loss to the Monroe Academy Volunteers in Monroeville in the Alabama Independent School Association Class 3A semi-finals.

The loss ended an eight-game winning streak for the Eagles who finished the year at 8-4. Monroe improved to 10-2 and earned a berth in the 3A finals next week in Troy.

Fort Dale, which defeated Monroe 13-12 earlier this year, caught bad breaks throughout the night. From costly turnovers to drive-killing penalties, Coach Speed Sampley's Eagle's saw mistakes put them in a hole late in the first half and wipe out golden opportunities in the final two quarters of play.

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The tone of the game was set when neither team came up with scoring opportunities in the first quarter.

The first team to hit the jackpot was the Volunteers on a one-yard run by Monroe quarterback Sage Smith. With a successful PAT, Fort Dale sat in the backseat, 7-0, with 5:43 left in the first half.

Monroe took it to the Eagles one more time in the first half with 1:45 remaining. The Volunteers' Kilpatrick raced 67 yards to tack on six more Monroe points. The point after kick was no good. Eagles were down 13-0.

Fort Dale finally got into the scoring act in the fourth quarter, when senior tailback Joseph Ryan scooted 29 yards to put the Eagles on the scoreboard with 11:54 left in the game. The two-point conversion attempt failed, leaving FDA down by seven, 13-6.

Monroe capped off the night with another touchdown in the final seconds of the game. Tyler Dawson put the ball across the plane with a one-yard run. The final score stood at 20-6. Monroe's win earned the Vols a spot in next week's title game against Bessemer Academy, which defeated Lee-Scott in Friday's other semi-final game.

Joseph Ryan held Fort Dale's rushing honors with 77 yards in 10 carries, including one TD. Next in line was Bryce Landwehr with 41 yards in 9 carries and Digger Kimbro with 38 yards in 8 carries.

Brett Paulk was 6 for 20 in passing for 67 yards.

Receiver Scott Burkett had two receptions for 24 yards. Ty Langston had two receptions for 14 yards.

Fort Dale posted 183 yards total rushing and 62 yards passing for the night, compared to Monroe's 305 yards rushing and 20 yards passing.