Devils show spark in region loss

Published 4:17pm Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Escambia County High School Blue Devils are not dismayed after falling 50-15 to region foes, the UMS-Wright Bulldogs Friday night in Mobile, ECHS head coach Lev Holly said.

“I’m proud of my kids,” Holly said after the game. “They continued to fight and fight hard.”

Holly was referencing a loss that came after the unranked Devils found themselves trailing their No. 5 ranked region opponents by only 7 points after two quarters of play.  “We went up 7-0 off a quarterback sneak from backup quarterback Malcolm Black to lead at first,” Holly said. “They scored to tie it up in the second quarter and then got up on us going into the half.”

The Devils continued to show the fight Holly has insisted they posses throughout the third quarter, adding another touchdown through the air off a nine-yard hook up from Chris Johnson to sophomore receiver Gordon Brooks, as well as a safety on defense to leave ECHS trailing UMS-Wright 21-8 at the end of the third quarter.  Despite the Blue Devils’ fight, the Bulldogs pulled away in the final period, adding 15 unanswered points to pull out the region victory.

Holly said his team showed plenty of sparks on offense, but were done in by an inability to finish inside the red zone, mostly due to turnovers.

“We were driving the whole game,” Holly said. “But we turned it over four times in the red zone. We had three fumbles and an interception down there.” But the team’s weak points, Holly said, can be improved upon. In the mean time, he is choosing to focus on what the team did right, and build on that.  “Chris Johnson probably had 250 to 300 yards passing,” he said. “And probably another 100 yards on the ground. We were about three mistakes from it being a different ballgame tonight.”

The Blue Devils will need to eliminate those mistakes if they plan on pulling together a successful season and Holly said that kind of effort is on the horizon for his young team.

“We competed,” Holly said. “It’s just a matter of time before we do something great.  Any time you go in there and you put that kind of team on the ropes early, you’ve done something great. We’ve just got to keep that blue-collar mentality, where you just have to be consistent with your work ethic. I’m very impressed with where we are. It’s small stuff that’s going to take us over them hump.”

The Devils will get another chance to display their work ethic Friday night when they meet Faith Academy at home at Herbert Barnes Stadium in Atmore. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.

ECHS will enter the Faith Academy game 1-3 overall for the season.

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