FDA looking to build depth against Sparta

Published 4:36 pm Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Fort Dale Academy offense exploded out of the gate Friday against Wilcox Academy by mounting a 28-0 lead in the first seven minutes of play.

But it’s the other 41 minutes of regulation that concern FDA head football coach James “Speed” Sampley, in which the Eagles’ second string struggled to hold on to its sizeable lead.

But giving his second string an opportunity at game experience and developing true depth is the ultimate goal.

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“I was not very pleased with our second bunch that went in and played,” Sampley said.

“They just didn’t move the ball at all.  Those are the folks that we’re going to play with in the future, and they’ve got to work hard while they’re out there, too.”

The Eagles will face a stiffer challenge Friday in the Sparta Academy Warriors, who have had no trouble keeping score with opponents in 2015.

The Warriors, who sit at 5-0, have outscored their opponents 180-42 this season, and Sampley attributes their success to an offense that attacks defenses at every angle.

“They’re multidimensional on offense; they both throw the ball and run the ball well,” Sampley said. “And defensively, they’re very aggressive.

“I think they were 5-0 when we played them last year, and they’re 5-0 this year.

They’re a year older, and just because they’re AISA Class 1A doesn’t mean we don’t have to show up.  I think they’ll be a pretty good team, and I think they’ll be a good challenge for us.”

As the Eagles fight to break .500 for the first time since their season opener win, Sampley is making a concerted effort to build the entire Eagles team, and not just the starting offense, defense and special teams.

To that end, the measure of success lies  not within the current week’s opponent, but within themselves.

“It doesn’t really matter who we play right now.  We just need to play well,” Sampley said.

“We’ve got a ways to go still, and we’ve got some injuries and some folks sick this week, so some of those younger guys may have to play this week.  And they’d better be ready.”