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Devils face W. S. Neal Eagles in East Brewton

By By Matthew Nascone
After securing the first win in the first game, the Escambia County High School football team faces a tough task, making it through their next two games. Blue Devils head coach Kyle Davis said it will be a long road ahead.
"It is tough to make the playoffs in Region 1," Davis said. "To make the playoffs you have to win four games and we have to start off strong this week against W.S. Neal."
With the shakeup of the Alabama High School Athletic Association classification system this year, the Blue Devils now have both of their Brewton area rivals in their region.
The T.R. Miller Tigers and the W.S. Neal Eagles are both now in Class 4A Region 1 with Big Blue.
ECHS faces the Eagles Friday and the Tigers next Friday.
"These next two weeks will test and challenge our team," Davis said. "This stretch will tell us what kind of team we have. And our win last Friday was a huge plus going into these games."
And first things, first, the Blue Devils meet a talented W.S. Neal team Friday.
"They have many good athletes and they are very big on the defensive line, with all of their guys weighing more than 240 pounds," Davis said. "They will get after it, but we are hoping to be quicker than them off the line."
Other than the defensive line Davis mentioned key players the Devils will have to keep in check during Friday's battle.
"Jared Cooper is one of their offensive linemen and he is a Division 1 recruit and a very good player," he said. "Marquis Barksdale is their quarterback and he throws the ball well. Nykeem Barton runs the ball well from tailback and Justin Smith has some good speed at the wide out position."
But in an effort to prepare the team for Neal, Davis and the coaching staff brought the team in at 8 a.m. Monday to watch film of their game against Alabama Christian Academy and find out what they can do better against Neal.
"We have to play 100 percent better than last week if we want to win this week," Davis said. "Neal is a lot better team than Alabama Christian."
And Davis knows his team is full of talented athletes as well.
"We have some good skill players and our offensive and defensive lines play well together," Davis said. "And I know with this team we will compete in every game. I was pleased with the effort level last Friday and if we get that then we will be in most of the games we play this year."
Kickoff is at 7 p.m. in East Brewton.