Devils pound Panthers

Published 1:39 pm Tuesday, August 23, 2005

By By Tim Cottrell
While it may not have counted in the standings, game one of the Kyle Davis era at Escambia County High School can only be described as a success.
The Blue Devils, led by a two touchdown performance from senior quarterback Calvin Hartley, whipped the Georgiana Panthers 17-0 in a jamboree Friday night in Georgiana.
The new Blue Devil offense moved with relative ease throughout most of the game, while the ECHS defense shut down Georgiana almost from the get-go.
Things didn't start out quite so easily for the Blue Devil defense, however, as Georgiana got the ball first (neither team kicked off during the game) and sliced through the defense to the ECHS 30 yardline before Jonathon McNeil ended the threat with an interception.
The Blue Devils then took the field and marched right down it, aided by a key third-down conversion pass from Hartley to receiver David Robinson. After getting as far as the two-yard line, the Blue Devil offense stalled and settled for a 27-yard Elliott Faircloth field goal with 2:57 remaining in the quarter.
After holding Georgiana to a three-and-out (the first of many to follow), Hartley connected with receiver Kevin Greene on a 60-yard touchdown pass to push the Blue Devil lead to 10-0 with 7:42 remaining in the first half. Faircloth added the PAT.
That touchdown energized the Blue Devil second-teamers, who held Georgiana to another three-and-out. Backup quarterback Michael Thomas (a freshman) then connected with sophomore Josh McCants on a 46-yard pass to put ECHS on the Georgiana 10 yard line. The drive stalled, however, and Faircloth missed a 33-yard field goal.
The game then went to halftime with the Blue Devils leading 10-0.
The second half started inauspiciously for the Blue Devils, as Hartley threw an interception (the only turnover of the game for ECHS) on the second play of the third quarter. Georgiana got the ball on the ECHS 25 yard line, but eventually backed up to midfield before turning the ball over on downs after a sack by junior defensive end Brandon McKenzie.
The Blue Devils then once again marched down the field, as Hartley reeled off a 37-yard run and then a 25-yard pass to senior receiver Chris Andrews to get to the Panther 11 yard line. He then took it in himself on an 11-yard scamper to provide the final score. Faircloth was once again good on the extra point. With 6:53 remaining in the third quarter, ECHS led 17-0.
Both teams then made whole-sale substitutions, and the clock ran out with neither team able to punch it in the endzone again. Georgiana threatened as the clock was running out, but freshman cornerback Fred James' interception saved the shutout.
Davis was quite pleased with how his team handled the humidity, humidity so heavy it can best be described by saying it was visible.
One drawback during the game for the Blue Devils was penalties, as the Blue Devils were called for holding on several occasions.
Davis was quite pleased, however, with his defense.
Although he was glad to have the preparation, Davis recognized that the opening regular season game against T.R. Miller would be a different ballgame.

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