Chambers Academy looks for payback against Escambia in the playoffs

Published 2:00 pm Wednesday, November 2, 2022

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The Chambers Academy Rebels have been the one seed in the Alabama Independent School Association playoffs for seven years straight, but their first round game against Escambia Academy will have a little more meaning.

The two teams played each other last year as the Rebels were looking for their seventh straight state championship appearance, but Escambia stunned the Rebels at Torbert-Allen Field.

While the Cougars are having a down year this year, Chambers Academy head coach Jason Allen is still preparing his team for a deep playoff run.

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“You have to put your best foot forward or the season will be over,” Allen said.

“We’re totally focused on Escambia. We’re excited to play at home in the playoffs again. We have to win the first game, and that’s our goal.”

Allen doesn’t want to overlook Escambia, even though they don’t have a winning record.

“They still have some really good athletes who can run,” Allen said.

“They lost their coach around the third game of the season. They’ve gotten better since their assistant took over. We’re prepared to see them play their best ball of the year.”

Although it’s a revenge game for the Rebels, Allen is treating it like a normal playoff game.

“I don’t try to treat them like revenge games,” Allen said.

“Our kids might because we lost to them pretty good last year. We beat them in the state championship game the year before. They understand that Escambia has become a really good team in the last seven or eight years. They’ll come in here with an upset on their mind.”

Although these two teams have only played three times, Allen feels like they’re becoming a postseason rival since every matchup has been in the playoffs.

The Rebels will use this week of practice to clean some things up offensively.

“We’re just trying to get back to execution,” Allen said.

“We didn’t execute well against Glenwood. When you play good teams, you have to execute perfectly. Our goal is to get our mojo back offensively.”

The Rebels have been able to subdue defenses with their run game, and Allen feels like that needs to improve before the playoffs.

“If we can’t run the football, then we’re in trouble,” Allen said.

Allen feels like his players have a chip on their shoulder looking for revenge against the Cougars.

“I would be eager to get back and play the team that beat them,” Allen said.

The game will be played at Torbert-Allen Field on Friday at 8 p.m. EDT.