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FDA looks to avenge ‘09 loss to Knights

Fort Dale Academy’s Manny Norrell and the Eagles travel to Macon-East on Friday. (Photo, Austin Nelson)

Fort Dale has a chance to settle the score this weekend as they travel to Macon-East, the only team that defeated the Eagles in last year’s regular season.

Coach James “Speed” Sampley said his team turned the ball over four times versus Macon-East last year, which he said was partly responsible for the loss. The key to victory on Friday will be avoiding giving up the ball, which Fort Dale has struggled with lately.

“We have played four games and only punted four times,” Speed said. “Normally, this would be a good thing, unless you are turning over the ball on the regular basis.”

Macon-east runs an option defense, Speed said, which means his players will have to play solid assignment football.

Sampley also sees some room for improvement with special teams.

“We have to do a better job of not letting the other team run kickoffs and punts back to half field,” Sampley said.

The Eagle offense showed a little flair last week, running a triple pass play that picked up over 30-yards. Coach Sampley, however, said plays like this aren’t called often.

“Everyone has trick plays and every now and again you use them,” Sampley said. “When it works, everyone thinks you outsmarted the defense. When it doesn’t, however, everyone thinks you are an idiot.”

Fort Dale (4-0) at Macon-East (0-4): 7 p.m. at Knight Field…last week, FDA beat Hooper Academy 34-12, Macon-East lost to Crenshaw Christian 28-14…FDA has a 3-2 record all-time against the Knights, one of those losses coming last year when Macon-East won 27-23…Fort Dale enters this week ranked No. 1 and was ranked No. 1 in the AISA last year when the Knights won…

Our Pick: Because of quirky AISA scheduling the Eagles are playing in Cecil for the second straight year.

It won’t matter. FDA 31, Macon-East 14