FDA looking to knock of No. 1

Published 3:54 pm Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Edgewood Academy’s streak of 40 consecutive wins began Oct. 28, 2010, with a 24-14 win over Fort Dale Academy in Greenville.

The sixth-ranked Eagles are hoping the streak ends with them on Friday in Elmore.

FDA head coach James “Speed” Sampley told his team after last week’s loss to Bessemer Academy that he believed they could snap the top-ranked Wildcats’ streak, but that it would take a nearly flawless performance.

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“We can’t make mistakes like we did (against Bessemer),” he said. “We’ve got to a better job up front, and we can’t turn the ball over.”

Against the Rebels, the Eagles (6-2) committed two turnovers. Both led to Bessemer touchdowns. The Eagles lost the game 34-21.

Sampley knows the Eagles can’t afford to turn the ball over against the Wildcats, who average 45.2 points per game and have scored more than 40 points in six of their nine wins.

“We’re going to have to do a better job of taking care of the ball,” said Sampley, who claimed responsibility for a play call that led to a late interception last week.

Sampley said the Eagles are also going to have to be opportunistic on offense.

Against Bessemer the Eagles had a missed field goal the first half and turned the ball over on downs inside the 5-yard line late in the fourth quarter.

“When we have opportunities, we’re going to have to take advantage of them,” Sampley said. “(Against Bessemer) we had some opportunities and we didn’t take advantage of them. To beat a good team you have to take advantage of those opportunities.”

The Wildcats, who have won the last three Class AA state championships, have held their opponents under 20 points five times this season. The Eagles have yet to be held under 20 points.

“We’re just going to do what we do, and continue to work to get better,” Sampley said.

The Eagles and the Wildcats will square off at 7 p.m. Friday at Edgewood Stadium.