Eagles looking to bounce back against Knights

Published 12:16 pm Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Fort Dale Academy Eagles seek to bounce back after an upsetting loss to rival Pike Liberal Arts last week against the Knights of Northside Methodist Academy.

Fort Dale head football coach James “Speed” Sampley said that despite last week’s loss, his experienced players know how to move on.

“When you’ve got a veteran team like we do with a bunch of seniors, they know that everything is different and new week to week, and that you just have to start over,” Sampley said.

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“And we’ve got to find a way to cut out the many mistakes we’re making and get better, and I think we’ll be fine once we understand that.”

The Eagles face Northside Methodist Academy in the pair’s second-ever meeting Friday on the road.

Fort Dale prevailed by a sizable 41-28 margin in 2016, and Sampley and the Eagles are looking to duplicate that success this season.

As for the Knights, who have yet to claim their first victory after four regular season games this season, offensive miscues have plagued the young team. 

The Knights have only averaged just under 6 points per game while being outscored 170-23 this season.

“They’ve got a young squad.  They’ve been struggling in all of their games so far,” Sampley said.  “But what we can’t do is take the week off.  We’ve got to get better this week and work on the things that we need to, and not worry about the opponent that we’re playing. 

“I thought we were considerably better than Pike looking at them on film, so sometime film fools you, and we’re not going to take them lightly.”

Sampley said that, despite the Knights’ struggles this season, his Eagles have not earned a sense of overconfidence.

“If you play like we did last weekend and you’re overconfident, something’s wrong with you,” Sampley said with a laugh.

“Because we didn’t play very well.  They won’t be overconfident—trust me.”