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Cougars prepare to tangle with Springwood

There is a great deal of excitement in the Greensboro area this week as the 2A AISA first round playoffs get under way Friday night. The Southern Academy Cougars are no strangers to November football and have had their fair share of highs and lows.

The Cougars have been to the playoffs three years in a row going as far as the championship game in Troy last year where they lost to the Marengo Academy Longhorns.

In his second year as the Cougars head coach, Shaun Bonds has his team eager for a second chance at the title. After losing 13 starters from last year the (7-3) Cougars have bounced back from a

(2-3) beginning winning five straight to make the playoffs.

Turnovers and mental mistakes plagued the Cougars from the beginning as they dropped their first game of the season to Pickens Academy 33-13. "We started off much like the Auburn Tigers did this season, "Bonds said.

But the Cougars battled back to win their next two games against Lowndes and Patrician.

The Cougars then suffered two more regional losses with South Choctaw Academy and a 14-10 heart breaker with Wilcox Academy.

"We battled with mental mistakes and turnovers throughout the first half of the season. It was back and forth for a while, a positive play then a negative play. We should of won that game with Wilcox. But we are doing better now," Bonds said.

That’s putting it lightly, not only are the Cougars doing better, they haven’t lost a game since and have put over 230 points on the scoreboard in their last four games. Coach Bonds feels confident going into the first round of the playoffs and with good reason.

The Cougars have one of the best running games in AISA with leading running back Erik Montz who is having a record year collecting over 2,000-rushing yards in the regular season.

A great running game is known to be the result of having a great offensive line and the Cougars have one of the biggest and most aggressive in 2A. The Cougars offensive front line tips the scales at a combined weight of 1,192 lbs with junior tackle Wes Davis leading the way at 292lbs.

Along with teams performance on the field, coach Bonds also feels that much of the Cougars success this year is due to their fans.

The Cougars have drawn the Springwood Academy Wildcats in their first round game and must travel this week to east Alabama.

After sitting in the #2 playoff spot going into the last week of the season, the Cougars were dropped to the #4 spot after Patrician’s victory over South Choctaw, a game which also knocked the defending state champs, the Marengo Academy Longhorns, out of the playoffs.