FDA facing strong rushing attack

Published 3:26 pm Monday, August 27, 2012

Fort Dale Academy head coach James “Speed” Sampley knew entering the 2012 season that if the Eagles were going to win games, they were going to have to do a better job tackling than they did a season ago.

In 2011, the Eagles’ offense averaged more than 21 points a game. However, its defense yielded more than 28 points per game. The result was a 4-7 record.

“Defensively, we just didn’t tackle,” Sampley said. “It wasn’t schemes or anything else. We just didn’t tackle well.”

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Fort Dale will certainly need to tackle well Friday night if it hopes to score its second win of the season when it hosts Coosa Valley Academy.

The Rebels (1-1) will utilize five running backs in their offensive attack, including tailback Ryan Brooks, who rushed for 98 yards in the squad’s season opening win against Cornerstone Christian.

Adam McCranie, Bradley Carroll, Alex Nelson and Andrew Nelson will also figure prominently into the Rebels’ ground game. Brooks, who scored on a 68-yard run, McCranie, Carroll, and the Nelsons combined to account for 205 rushing yards on 44 attempts.

“We’ve got amazing depth in the backfield,” Brooks said. “It’s better than we’ve ever had at this school, but we couldn’t do any of it without our offensive line.”

Fort Dale’s defense turned in an improved performance in its opener with Escambia Academy. The Eagles surrendered 14 points, but held the Cougars to just 261 yards of total offense.

Chase Whiddon’s nine tackles led the Eagles, who will face off with the Rebels Friday at FDA. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.