Devils put up fight, Bears walk away winners
By By RICK PATE
On a great night for football, the ECHS Blue Devils played their homecoming game against a 4-1 Robertsdale team. With a large crowd on hand the fired-up Devils played inspired football through most of the first three-quarters of the game. However, costly turnovers and penalties again became a gauntlet for the Devils.
The Bears opened the game with a 47-yard kick return from junior Jason Wilkes all the way to the Blue Devil 45-yard line. However, two plays later Robertsdale quarterback Obie Trotter attempted a pass over the middle to wide receiver Nissan Trotter. The Trotters came up empty as Blue Devil James Wilson stepped in front of the receiver and made the first big play off the game – an interception at the Atmore 47-yard line.
ECHS started their first possession of the game from mid-field. Nine plays and 53-yards later they were in the Bear end zone for a 6-0 lead with 10:59 left in the first quarter. The PAT failed and the Devils were pumped as they took an early lead.
The Devils used only 4:14 off the clock as they ran nine consecutive running plays to bring the homecoming crowd to its feet.
The Bears took the ensuing kickoff at their own 29-yard line and ripped off two big plays from scrimmage that brought them down to the ECHS 24-yard line. However, with a third-and-ten play, defensive end Jon Michael Beech hit Trotter from the backside causing a fumble. Atmore's Billy Pettway was quick to pounce on the loose ball and ECHS was back in business at their own 41-yard line.
After two running plays, ECHS was faced with a third-and-eight from their own 43-yard line. Quarterback Traveis Guy attempted a long pass down the right sideline to Ricky Craft. Guy's pass hit the Robertsdale defender in the back and for a split second it just sat their. Craft was ever alert and scoped the ball off the defenders back for a 38-yard pass completions. Poised with a first-and-ten on the Robertsdale 19-yard line the Devils ran two plays down to the twelve. After an eight yard running play for a first down by Norman Henderson, the Blue Devils were called for clipping and the ball went back out to the Bears 22-yard line. Third and fourth down failed to produce a first down and the momentum had change in an instance with the Devils turning the ball over on downs.
With a first-and-ten from the ECHS 22, the Bears turned to P.J. Ikner to move the ball. On the first play, Ikner ran off right tackle for 43 yards and the Bears were quickly in business at the ECHS 35. Four plays later, Ikner ran a counter tray for 19 yards and was untouched for the score. The PAT was good and with 11 minutes left in the first half, the Bears led 7-6.
Both teams went four plays and out on their next two possessions as the defenses began to take over the game. With 3:33 left in the first half, the Blue Devils took over at their 27-yard line and moved the ball to midfield behind good running from Nick Brown and a 12-yard pass completion from Guy to Wilson. With a third-and-three, Guy fumbled and the Devils were forced to punt the ball away. The half ended with Robertsdale leading 7-6.
Robertsdale took the second half kickoff at their own 40-yard line. Four consecutive running plays by Edric Prim moved the ball down to the Atmore 2-yard line. Ikner took a sweep around the right side for an easy score. The PAT was good and with 7:49 left in the third quarter, the Bears led 14-6. The drive was highlighted by a 52-yard run up the middle by Prim.
The Devils took the ensuing kickoff and after a 13-yard return by Wilson, began a possession on their own 26-yard line. However, they failed to get a first down and settled for a Jovan Brown 26-yard punt.
Robertsdale went four plays and out and the Devils took an Eddie Koen punt at their own 16-yard line. With a first-and-ten, Guy found a streaking Craft over the middle for an 18-yard completion. After a 6-yard run by Henderson off a toss sweep, the Devils appeared to have their offense back on track. However, Guy fumbled on the up-coming play and once again the Bears had a short field to work with. They wasted no time and needed only three plays to score from 34-yards out. The PAT was good and with 1:20 left in the third, Robertsdale led 21-6.
The Devils took the ensuing kickoff and after a late hit on the return were set up at their own 42-yard line. The Drive ended in another fumble and again Robertsdale had a short field at the ECHS 27-yard line. The Bears made quick work as they scored on four plays and just 1:48. Prim got the honors as he took a toss sweep around the right side for a 14 -yard touchdown run. The PAT was good and with 7:07 left in the game, the score was Robertsdale 28-6.
Neither team scored during the remainder of the game and the final score was 28-6.
The Blue Devils are back on the road next week as they face Citronelle at home.