Fort Dale travels to Faith Academy

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 8, 2004

Friday night, the right to be called Area Champion comes down to one game.

The Fort Dale Academy Eagles will travel south on I-65 to take on Faith Christian Academy in Mobile.

"It's going to be a smash-mouth game," said James Sampley, coach of the Fort Dale Eagles. "It's going to be a war of attrition. See who can outlast whom.

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They are a primarily a Wing-T type team that runs the ball straight at you."

Entering into Friday night's game, the Eagles have one loss and the Rams have none.

Both teams are coming off victories and this game will give one of the two teams the edge in the Area, possibly the Area championship.

"Faith is 5-0," Sampley said. "Coach James and Coach Caldwell down there are doing a great job and have been head coaches. We've played against each other for a lot of years. So they know what we are going to do and we know what they are going to do, we think."

The Eagles are coming off a win last Friday night against Lee-Scott.

Fort Dale torched the Indian secondary for 175 yards and four touchdowns.

"People are blowing the passing game out of proportion," Sampley said. "We didn't throw the ball but nine times and we caught seven and four were for touchdowns. Coach Gilchrist is the Defensive Coordinator there and he coached with us for a couple of seasons so he knew what was coming down to the blocking rules."

"He had everybody up there trying to stop us from running so we just threw a couple of passes over them."

But, for the second week in a row, they also wore down their opponent with a punishing ground game.

"I know James Sampley for a long time," said Robby James, coach of the Faith Rams. "I think everybody's got different schemes on how to prepare for a team like Fort Dale. I know in the past it's been hardnosed and close, we play similar styles of football. We are a running team like them."

The Eagles rushed for 210 yards led by Tim James.

"Last Friday night we played pretty dad-gum good," said Sampley. "Offensively and defensively we executed well, made a few mistakes. But we played well and everyone contributed to the win."

Faith does have one advantage coming into Friday's game. That's their conditioning.

"This is probably going to be the first team we've played all year long that we can't wear down," Sampley said.

"Even against Bessemer, we wore them down some. I think Faith has just as many kids as us, they play two sets of offensive and defensive linemen. "

Faith enters Friday's game coming off a win also.

The No. 1 ranked Rams knocked off the Volunteers of Monroe Academy to remain unbeaten.

"I think it's going to be a big game," James said. "I know Fort Dale's got a good football team. I guess last year is the first time we've beaten Fort Dale. "

"We feel like it's going to be a very physical game. They come off the ball hard and they block and tackle hard so we know that coming in."

Fort Dale and Faith are two of the top teams in AAA West.

"I look for a big crowd," James said.

"It'll be a real good football game. Fort Dale has always played hard nosed and it's the kind of games you've got to get ready for."

Kickoff for Friday's game is set for 7:30 p.m. and will be played in Mobile at Faith Academy.