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Fort Dale faces top of AISA food chain

The Fort Dale Academy Eagles’ next opponent literally doesn’t remember what it’s like to lose.

The Edgewood Academy Wildcats’ last defeat was a one-point loss at the hands of Glenwood Academy on Oct. 22, 2010.

Since then, the Wildcats have gone on a nearly unprecedented tear through the AISA, winning 54 consecutive games in a row and clinching four championships along the way.

Though the Eagles’ shot at the postseason is over, Sampley said that his team still has a great deal left to play for against next week’s opponent.

“Edgewood’s got the best team in the state,” Sampley said.

“They’re running on about a 54-game winning streak, and if they beat us Friday night, they tie the all-time winningest streak in the history of Alabama high school football.”

Sampley added that Edgewood’s position at the top of the AISA food chain is well deserved, and that there isn’t any one strength that makes them the team to beat.

The Wildcats have a myriad of tools at their disposal that have allowed them to outscore opponents by an astounding margin of 545-52 throughout the first nine games of the season.

To put that figure in perspective, the Wildcats average more points per game (60.5) than they’ve allowed all season long.

“They’ve got athletes.  They’ve got a lot of athletes, and the two skill guys at the running back positions are exceptional, and they throw the ball well,” Sampley added.

“And, of course, they play good, hard-nosed defense.  And they’ve got a lot of depth, and their depth makes a lot of difference, too.”

One would be remiss to think that the stakes are virtually nonexistent for the Eagles at this point in the season, with their playoff hopes dashed at the hands of Pike Lib last Friday, but a victory Friday night would be a great boost toward building next season’s campaign.

“We need to come out and work as hard as we can, play this game hard and get ready for next year,” Sampley said.

“We’re going to play all we can, do the best we can and see what happens.”

The Eagles travel to Edgewood for their final game of the season Friday, beginning at 7 p.m.