Eagles triumph over Wildcats in first season game
Published 3:54 pm Saturday, August 19, 2023
Fort Dale Academy hosted Edgewood Academy at the first game of the season Aug. 18.
The Eagles started off strong as the quarterback, No. 6 Ethan Alford, picked up a huge gain of 29 yards followed by Fort Dale’s first touchdown by No. 21, Dain Winters.
Jana Ealum, mother of senior player Joseph Ealum, said she was very proud of the team’s efforts and the win.
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“It was the ‘last first’ game day for 11 of these boys, and I couldn’t be more proud of how they competed and finished in front of a great crowd,” Ealum said. “While I had some teary moments, I was very excited for them and what they have worked for all these years. I told Joseph this was it, leave it all on the field this year.”
The Wildcat’s first drive of the game resulted in a fumble recovered by Edgewood. Edgewood fumbled twice again on their next drive and the second was recovered by the Eagles’ No. 5, Clay Gardner, on the Eagles own 43 yard line. Alford gained 32 yards before ending the first quarter with a long pass to No. 1, Alan Alvarez, resulting in a Fort Dale touchdown.
Starting the second quarter with a 14-0 lead, the Eagles did not let up as No. 54, Cole Whiddon, made a sack on the Wildcat’s third down attempt. Alford, on a quarterback keep, ran the ball in from 15 yards out for the Eagle’s third scoring touchdown.
Alvarez converted a 42 yard field goal, tying his own record for the fourth longest field goal in Fort Dale history. Alvarez recovered a fumble made by Edgewood before the Wildcat’s caught an interception, ending the first half at 24-0.
Marshall Watts, the wide receiver’s coach and defensive line coach, said head coach Eric Folmar does a great job formulating the team’s game plans.
“The game plan was well executed,” Watts said. “The guys are buying in, in all areas, and it showed. The team is becoming a close knit group that isn’t afraid to put in the work Monday through Thursday.”
At halftime the crowd enjoyed the entertainment provided by the Fort Dale twirlers, dance team, cheerleaders, and a few special dance performances by some of the elementary and middle school girls led by the varsity cheerleaders.
The Eagles started off the second half strong as No. 24, Joseph Ealum, ran the ball to Edgewood’s 25 yard line. No. 13, Cole Salter, carried the ball into the end zone for a touchdown before the Wildcats made their first and only touchdown of the night.
Edgewood’s extra point attempt was blocked, leaving the score at 31-6. Continuing the momentum, Ealum ran the ball 21 yards finding his way into the end zone for another Eagle touchdown. The Wildcats had great field position after a long kick-off return, but failed to convert on fourth down as Winters stepped in to break up the pass, ending the third quarter behind 38-6.
Folmar said he has his eyes set on the team’s goals for the season as he celebrates the team’s victory.
“We are really proud of the effort our guys played with tonight,” Folmar said. “It’s definitely good to get the first win under your belt. We’ll have to see how our guys respond to this success. We’ll need to continue to get better each week if we want to accomplish the goals we’ve set for ourselves this season. But tonight was an incredible atmosphere and a lot of fun to be a part of.”
The Eagle’s blowout ended with No. 7, Parker McNeal, handing the ball off to No. 2, Isaac Lowery, who ran it in for the final touchdown of the night. The Eagles and crowd cheered as they triumphed with a 45-6 victory to begin their season.