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Fort Dale drops heartbreaker to Monroe in fourth

For three quarters, the Fort Dale Academy Eagles played the best football of the 2014 season against the toughest opponent they are likely to face all year.

But in the fourth, the Monroe Academy Volunteers pulled away with three late-game scores to take a 48-24 win over the Eagles.

But the score doesn’t tell the whole tale, as Fort Dale only trailed by three heading into the fourth, thanks to a confusing Eagles offense that employed five different quarterbacks throughout the night.

Tanner Cartwright was the first quarterback at the helm to find paydirt on an 80-yard pass to Ryan Burkett for the first score of the evening.

Monroe would answer back twice to take a 14-7 lead, but not before quarterback Austin Vickery found Sawyer Kendrick on a 22-yard strike for the Eagles’ second score and a tie ball game at the half.

Jake Gillem struck first in the second half on a successful field goal attempt with 8 minutes remaining in the third, giving the Eagles  a temporary lead.

But Monroe would answer twice more in succession to extend their lead to 27-17.

Vickery found Burkett on a huge 83-yard touchdown that cut the lead to three in the fourth, but the Volunteers put on a scoring clinic in the fourth quarter to put away the once-close contest for good.

Burkett ended the night with six catches for 203 yards and two touchdowns.

All five quarterbacks combined for 10 of 32 attempts for 269 yards.

Cody Parker and Clay Mansmann each finished with 20 tackles apiece.

The Eagles continue the search for their second region win with Morgan at home Friday beginning at 7 p.m.