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Eagles face Wildcats Thursday night

Usually when you think of high school football, you think about Friday nights, but Fort Dale fans will get to see their team in action a day early when the Eagles take on East Memorial this Thursday.

By moving the game up a day, the coaching staff has been forced to make some changes during practice.

“It changes the preparation for the game,” said head coach Speed Sampley. “We’re trying to condense Monday and Tuesday’s practice into Monday. This time of year, you’ve got to be able to do that. You’ve got to be ready to play on the night they tell you to play.”

Sampley said there will also be changes made to the gameplan, not just to practice, after a 21-9 loss to Edgewood last week.

“I put a lot of lip service into throwing it, and we work on it, but we just don’t do it much in a game,” Sampley said. “You’ve got to do that more to be successful.”

“When a team literally puts 11 players in the box like Edgewood did, you’ve got to make them back up and play where they’re supposed to be,” he continued. “We need to throw it enough to get folks off of us.”

East Memorial is new to AAA classification, having spent last season in the A division.

Despite that, the Wildcats have pulled off wins over Prattville Christian and Wilcox Academy.

“What jumps out at me is that Bessemer was only ahead of them 14-13 when the fourth quarter started, so they have the potential to be good,” Sampley said. “But then they lose 47-0 to Marengo the next week, so they’re kind of a Jekyll and Hyde team.”

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Thursday night at Stanley Jenson Stadium in Prattville.