No. 1 Wildcats visit No. 10 GeneralsPublished 4:57pm Wednesday, September 25, 2013
For the last 36 games, there aren’t many teams which have been able to match the offensive firepower which has led Edgewood Academy to three straight Alabama Independent School Association titles.
Mike Sims thinks his Autauga Academy team can stand toe to toe with the top-ranked Wildcats.
The Generals (3-1) showed what they are capable of in a 55-54 overtime loss to Fort Dale Academy. Autauga Academy tallied 568 yards of total offense.
“After punting just one time and scoring more than 50 points, I would have never fathomed a loss,” Sims said. “We’re just gonna have to play hard for 48 minutes.”
Offense has been coming at an easy clip for the Generals in the last three games, averaging 48 points a game.
And finding the end zone has been no problem for Edgewood, which is averaging 53 points a game.
“We just have to keep doing what we’ve been doing well each week,” Wildcats coach Bobby Carr said. “We aren’t going to change what we’ve been doing for so long.”
In addition to the similarities on the scoreboard, the teams offer two dynamic running backs to add to their arsenal.
Autauga is led by senior tailback Eric Graham, who rushed for 163 yards on 20 carries and three touchdowns last week.
Edgewood counters with junior running back Josh Crawford, who has rushed for more than 100 yards each week this season. Crawford has also shown his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. Two weeks ago, Crawford came away with three touchdown catches while rushing for another.
“(Graham) is a lot like Josh Crawford,” Carr said. “He runs hard and will be a great challenge do our defense.”
Quarterbacks also have had great success through the air.
John Michael Sweatt completed 23 of 39 passes for 369 yards and four touchdowns against Fort Dale.
Meanwhile Edgewood quarterback Taylor Hawthorne tied the single-game touchdown mark with eight two weeks ago in a win over Lakeside.
While Carr is confident in his quarterback and running back’s play on offense, he said they will have to turn up the intensity on defense.
“They have been fortunate that they have not had to play every down for us,” Carr said. “They will need to step it up defensively for us to be successful.”