ECHS makes playoffs with win
Published 12:12 am Monday, November 1, 2004
Thursday night the Escambia County Blue Devils met the Hillcrest Evergreen Jaguars in Flomaton, determining who would progress to the first round of the state playoffs. With the Devils winning the last two games they walked onto the field with an air of confidence about them. After the night's game that confidence only grew as they walked to the buses with their third straight win over the Jaguars 14-6 and securing their spot in the first round of the state playoffs.
Defensively both teams were sure to show up resulting in the first half marked by each team forced to punt back and forth to one another numerous times. Other than a fumble by each team and their recovery, the first half came and went as both teams were locked in a stalemate.
Coming back into the second half, Hillcrest received and scored the first touchdown of the night after their quarterback aimed in on a receiver for a pass completed over 50-yards. Darrell Stephens of the Blue Devils blocked a pass from the Jaguars preventing their two-point conversion. With 10:37 in the third quarter the Devils found themselves trailing for the first time that night by six points. The Devils attempted to receive the ball from Hillcrest but touched and lost the ball allowing Hillcrest to gain possession. The Devils defense held the Jaguars forcing them to punt. The Devils offense along with Calvin Hartley handing off to Kendrick McNeil made a steady push for their goal line finally resulting in the Devil's first touchdown off a pass from Harley to Chris Andrews with 4:10 on the clock. Elliot Faircloth made a successful PAT gaining the lead for the Devils over the Jaguars. Again in the fourth quarter the Devils found themselves scoring this time by Jarrod Jefferson running into the end zone. Because of flags thrown during the PAT, it extra point was awarded to the Devils.
The Devils were able to hold the Jaguars allowing them to win the game 14-6. "This is a storybook ending to a season that seemed to have more downs than ups," said Head Coach Mardye McDoyle said. "I just want to say thank you to the administration, parents and kids who continued to stay in there and believe in us. It feels good knowing that we earned a chance to go to the playoffs. Next week we are going to take this time to do some much needed healing from our bumps and bruises. It's been a rocky road, but it's been worth all of it."