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Fort Dale crushes overmatched Warriors

EVERGREEN - Fort Dale Academy scored twice in the first six minutes of their match up with the Sparta Warriors in route to a 41-14 romp.

A solid performance from quarterback Casey Weston, who went 16-for-23 for 175 yards and one touchdown, was highlighted by a 21-yard touchdown toss to Brady Newton with 32 seconds left in the second quarter.

Weston, a sophomore, said even though the Warriors were obviously overmatched, coach James "Speed" Sampley's new Gulf Coast Offense is starting to sink in.

"We didn't have much competition against us, but we got to see what we could do," Weston said. "We got to see our routes a lot better and how the defense is going to affect our plays."

While his team put some impressive numbers on the board out-gaining the Warriors 401 yards to 138, Sampley said his new offense still has a few kinks in it.

"We threw the ball better, but we're still not throwing it on time," he said. "We also did not catch the ball some of the times when it hit us in the hands."

While Sampley was happy with Weston's performance, he said his young QB has some work to do.

"The ball's coming out a little late, but he had a pretty good night," Sampley said. "But we'll see what he can do when he gets some pressure from a quality opponent. He's just got to get better every time he plays and get a little maturity."

While the Eagles changed to more of a downfield offense, their leading rusher last year, Tim James, who ran for more than 1,500 yards last season, still put some pretty good numbers on the board rushing for 106-yards on 11 carries and scoring three touchdowns.

"Our offensive line did a really good job tonight," James said. "I thought we did pretty well and we capitalized on some early turnovers. Our offense was looking a little sluggish (early in the year) but we caught on pretty well tonight."

The Eagles scored first after Lister Crosby recovered a Warrior fumble and James punched in from seven yards out. The point after touchdown was good making it 7-0, Eagles.

It didn't take long for the Eagles to get on the board again after recovering another Warrior fumble and driving 40-yards on eight plays. James dived up the middle with 6:48 to go in the first to give the Eagles a 13-0 lead. The PAT was good and the Eagles were off to the races.

The Eagles added another touchdown after Peter McGowin scored on a six-yard run capping a 7-play, 62-yard drive to close out the first quarter.

"We're just not very good," said Sparta head coach Don Hand. "We've got six or seven kids out hurt our guys just haven't gotten a lot of time on the field. Fort Dale just had more sticks than we did."

Barry Boan led the defense with eight tackles, all in the second half, followed by Taylor Hawsey with seven. Lister Crosby, Hawsey, Blake Mullins and John Lewis Golson all recovered Sparta fumbles.

The Eagles rushed for 201 yards on 21 carries, while Sparta ran for 138 yards on 27 attempts.