ECHS wins at homecoming
By By Chuck Bodiford Publisher
ATMORE – The Escambia County Blue Devils played Russell County in what turned out to be an exciting game Friday night. With this being the Devils Homecoming, expectations where high for both the players and fans. Both Russell County and the Devils were in the lead at one time or another, however, when the clock closed the fourth quarter it was the Devils who were on top. Russell County fell to the Blue Devils with a final score of 32-27.
As the first half got under way the Blue Devils found themselves on Russell County's one-yard line defending against the night's first touchdown. With 4:55 seconds on the clock in the first quarter, Russell County's Sherman Hayes took his own to score the first touchdown of the night. The PAT was good bringing the score to 0-7. The Devils wouldn't remain scoreless for long as Calvin Hartley threw a 60-yard pass to LaBrandon Sharp. Three plays after receiving the ball the Devils scored on Russell County as Cedric Sharp ran up the middle to score the Devils' first touchdown of the night less than 2 minutes after Russell County scored. The PAT failed, bringing the score to 6-7.
With 5:07 on the clock Montrey Harris ran and scored against the Devils, but a penalty on Russell County recalled the touchdown and brought the ball back to the line. Russell County would later score on the Devils after advancing to the three-yard line; however, the PAT would be blocked by a Devil for a score of 6-13. With only 42 seconds left in the first half the Devils took the chance and scored on a Hartley pass to Franklin Boykin. The Devils attempted the PAT, but was no good. There was a penalty, and this allowed the Devils to replay the PAT and scored a two-point conversion by Dereke Martin for a final score leaving the first half with the Devils leading 14-13.
The Blue Devils came back in the second half determined to dominate. In the third quarter the Devils scored two touchdowns against Russell, the first with 4:31 left on the clock. Dereke Martin delivered the ball into the end zone for a 69-yard touchdown. The PAT was no good putting the Devils ahead by 7. Then Dereke Martin threw a 25-yard pass to Harvey Knight for the second touchdown of the quarter with only 48 seconds on the clock. The two-point conversion was attempted but no good. The Devils took the lead going into the fourth quarter with a score of 26-13.
Russell County's John Davis ran for a 20-yard touchdown against the Devils with 6:58 on the clock. The PAT was no good for total gain of six points. The Devils received the ball landing on the 10-yard line. A penalty would push them back to Russell's five-yard line. With 5:51 on the clock Russell tackled the Devils' Chris Simpson in the end zone garnering a safety for an additional three points bring the score to 26-22. Russell would follow that with an attempt for a touchdown as Russell returned the ball from the 40 to their own 8-yard line. Russell County took the lead with 5:23 on the clock as Davis ran the ball in. Again the PAT failed bringing the score to 26-27, Russell County's lead. With less than five minutes in the game the Atmore Blue Devils were too close to victory to lose now. The sidelines where drenched in sweat and emotion, fueling the team on the field. The Devils' Martin returned the ball to Russell's 35-yard line from the kickoff. The tide was turned for the Devils as Martin evaded a tackle and found Justin Gross in the end zone for the 15-yard pass. The Devils again took control of the game with 1:37 left in the game and a score of 32-27. Russell County made their way down to the Devils' 21-yard line. but clock worked against them with the Devils winning by a final score of 32-27. The Devils had a total of 144 yards rushing and 192 yards passing for a combined total of 336 yards. After the game, Coach Mardye McDole said, "That the team fought hard, we did make a couple of mistakes, however, we were still able to make the win." Next week the Blue Devils will take on the Northview Chiefs on at Northview. Kickoff is at 7:30.