FDA ends Edgewood’s streak at 19

Published 12:04 am Saturday, October 3, 2009

An undefeated season. The top ranking in the AISA. A 19-game win streak, the longest in the state.

All of those things went out the door when Fort Dale defeated Edgewood 28-7 last night.

The Eagles came in with a chip on their shoulders after being upset by Macon-East on the road last week.

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Fort Dale didn’t waste any time in making a statement – the first play from scrimmage was a 49-yard reverse halfback pass from quarterback Hunter Armstrong to Todd Burkett, who connected with Luke Hutcheson.

Taking over at the Wildcats’ 17-yard line, the FDA offense sputtered.

Hutcheson came up with another catch at the one-yard line to set up fourth down and goal, and Armstrong powered the ball in to give FDA the early 7-0 lead.

Manny Norrell came up with an interception on the next Wildcat possession, but the Eagles were unable to capitalize on it.

With 7:44 to go before halftime, Fort Dale pounded their way down the field, and Daniel Nolan capped the drive with a one-yard run.

Over the next several minutes, the two teams traded turnovers.

Dustin Till tipped a long Edgewood pass and Todd Burkett picked it out of the air, but the Eagles gave it right back with a fumble on the next play.

On the ensuing drive, Nolan recovered an Edgewood fumble in the secondary.

The Eagles had a chance to put three more points on the board with less than 30 seconds to go in the half, but the kick attempt was blocked.

Till got things started for the defense in the second half with an interception on Edgewood’s opening drive.

On third down and 17, Burkett hauled in a big first down catch, but penalties and losses put the offense in reverse.

Facing third and 30, Armstrong hit Till in a seam between the cornerback and safety for a 40-yard touchdown to put FDA up 21-0.

Edgewood got on the board with 7:23 to play in the game, but a 36-yard screen pass to Nolan with 2:03 left put the game out of reach.

Last week, penalties and miscues were a big part of the loss to Macon-East, and it continued to be a problem against Edgewood.

Fort Dale was flagged 11 times for 100 yards.

“Obviously we didn’t fix the penalty problem, but we got effort tonight,” said head coach Speed Sampley. “When you we get that, it’ll take care of most things. Our offense has to stop shooting itself in the foot, though.”

The Eagles had 83 yards on the ground, led by 57 from Nolan, and 282 yards through the air.

Armstrong was 11-21 passing with 233 of those yards, and Hutcheson was his top receiver with six catches for 113 yards.

Burkett hauled in 69 yards’ worth, Nolan had 60, and Till had one reception for 40 yards.

“We got some good defense too,” Sampley said. “I think we did a good job of tackling.”

Fort Dale held Edgewood to 122 total yards of offense.

Daniel Lowe was the top tackler with nine and Stephen Till added seven.

Next week, the Eagles will again be at home to face East Memorial for homecoming, which will also be the 40th anniversary celebration of the establishment of Fort Dale Academy.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.