Explosive Autauga team to test FDA

Published 4:49 pm Tuesday, September 1, 2015

It’s out of the frying pan and into the fire for the Fort Dale Academy Eagles as the team faces its first true test of the season in Autauga Academy.

But the Eagles will do so backed by momentum from a 35-6 win over Evangel Christian.

James “Speed” Sampley, Fort Dale Academy’s head football coach, said that the Eagles have already put the big win behind them.

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“It’s always great if you can start off winning, but you have to play the next week whether you’ve won or lost,” Sampley said.

“And momentum only carries you so far.  You’ve still got to get back to work this week, and see what happens Friday night.”

And there is much work to be done for the Eagles as the team heads into its first region game of the season.

Despite a full offseason spent in the weight room, Sampley said that he was still displeased with the lack of physicality the Eagles exhibited Friday night.

“We’re not nearly as physical as I’d like to be, and we were not very physical at the perimeter on the run game, so we’ve got to work on that,” Sampley said.

“Defensively, we blew some assignments.  Most of that was mental error stuff where we just didn’t line up correctly.  But we’re working on that every day, and hopefully that will get better, too.”

But there are positives, as well.  Despite a lackluster kickoff coverage, Sampley said that the Eagles’ special teams performance was a major step in the right direction.

More importantly, sophomore quarterback Luke Taylor is finally overcoming a summer-long injury to his arm that kept him out of practice for several weeks.

“Luke’s been able to practice now the whole time since practice started, and he’s getting his groove now,” Sampley said.

“I thought he threw the ball well Friday night, and he ran the ball pretty well.  He’s a 10th grader, and he’s got a lot to learn, but he’s making strides, and that’s what we want him to do.”

As far as Autauga Academy is concerned, the Eagles will face a tough Generals team made even tougher thanks the aid of some new offensive firepower.

“Autauga is a better football team than the team we played Friday night, obviously,” Sampley said.

“They have picked up some kids over the summer that actually started last year at Prattville High School, which has improved their ability to be explosive.  So we’re going to have to play well on offense and defense to have a chance to win.”

The Eagles travel to Autauga Academy for their first region game Friday night at 7 p.m.