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FDA secures first round playoff game at home

The Fort Dale Eagles locked up a home game in the first round of the playoffs with a convincing 25-6 win over Lee-Scott Academy last night.

“This was a really big win for us region-wise,” said head coach Speed Sampley. “Now we’re hosting in the first round of the playoffs.”

Even though the stats for the game were relatively close, the Eagles had a bend-but-don’t-break defense because the scoreboard didn’t show it.

On the night, Fort Dale rolled up 252 yards of offense while holding LSA to 191.

“We played pretty good defense,” Sampley said. “They moved the ball on us but they didn’t score much.”

Fort Dale struck first on a 78-yard interception return by Jeffery Stead with less than a minute to go in the first quarter to go up 7-0.

Lee-Scott responded with a score to pull within a point at 7-6, but it wouldn’t be long before Fort Dale moved ahead.

A 62-yard reception by Todd Burkett set up a six-yard rush from Dustin Till to make the score 13-6.

Sampley said the long pass and ensuing touchdown were both big for the team.

“We got the momentum on our side and stayed with it,” he said. “They helped us out – they had a couple of big turnovers, but I hope we were helping cause those.”

One of those turnovers came when LSA snapped a punt on the ground and the Eagles recovered.

That set up a 14-yard touchdown run from Stead, and Daniel Nolan added a one-yard touchdown run before the game was over.

Stead ended the night with 122 yards on 11 carries, while Nolan had 52 yards on 12 carries.

Defensively, Daniel Lowe and Matt Causey each had 13 tackles, and both Stead and Paul Whigham came up with an interception.

“We need to carry this momentum into next week and win the homecoming game, and then go on from there,” Sampley said.

Fort Dale hosts Shelby Academy next week for homecoming.