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Fort Dale pounds East Memorial 33-14

Fort Dale bounced back after a tough loss to Edgewood with a resounding 33-14 win over East Memorial Christian Academy Thursday night in Prattville.

One of the main focuses for head coach Speed Sampley heading into the matchup was the passing game.

The Eagles have been struggling through the air this season and have seen opponents stack the line of scrimmage as a result.

Against the Wildcats, Fort Dale attempted 20 passes and completed eight.

Dustin Till was 4-11 for 67 yards and Hunter Armstrong was 4-9 for 42 yards.

“We worked on the passing game all week, and I feel like we had people open all night,” Sampley said. “We need to continue to work on our protection. We still have a ways to go.”

Because of the focus on the air attack, Fort Dale’s rushing game wasn’t as dominant as usual.

“In doing that, our running can’t suffer,” Sampley said. “We didn’t run with authority like we usually do. There’s a happy medium there somewhere.”

The passing game set up Fort Dale’s first score of the night.

On the opening play from scrimmage, Till connected with Todd Burkett for a 38-yard gain.

Shortly following, Jeffrey Stead put it in from nine yards out to put FDA ahead 6-0.

Later in the first quarter, Daniel Nolan had a 25-yard run to put the Eagles up 12-0.

A second-quarter interception return to the 12-yard line by Paul Whigham and an EMCA penalty set up a six-yard run by T.J. Bender, which was followed by a kick from Sean McKeague.

Less than a minute later, EMCA’s quarterback fumbled the ball, Burkett emerged from the pile with it and walked 21 yards into the endzone to make the score 26-0.

The final score of the night for the Eagles came after a 50-yard interception return from Till to the EMCA four-yard line.

Stead punched it in to make the score 33-7, and it ended 33-14.

“We’ve got region opponents coming up for the next two weeks, and that will determine if we make the playoffs,” Sampley said. “We’ve got to keep getting better and play well then.”