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Deciding game for Devils

By By Matthew Nascone
Escambia County High School head football coach Kyle Davis challenged his players before practice Monday.
"I told them that I have never seen them take care of business when they need to while I have been here," Davis said. "And I challenged them to take care of business this week against Jackson and we will see if they take my challenge. Because if we beat a good, quality team like Jackson we will have proved something to ourselves."
A win would also put Atmore at 3-1 in Class 4A Region 1 and in control of its own destiny.
"There is no doubt this is a big ball game for us," Davis said. "And if we come away with a win and play the rest of the season how we should, we will make the playoffs, but if we lose then we will need some help. And it is never a good thing to need help."
Davis said he hopes a good first day of practice in preparation for Jackson will lead to a good week of practice and he said that is what the team needs to succeed.
To succeed in the game, Atmore will have to stop Jackson's quarterback from hooking up with his No. 1 target at wide out, M. Beastada.
"The guy is tall and he goes up there and gets the football," Davis said. "And there are two ways to stop an attack like that. The first is to cover the receiver and the second is to pressure the quarterback. We don't have anyone who can jump with that guy, so we are going to try and bring pressure."
The Blue Devils will also have to put the past behind them, as Jackson took it to Atmore last year to the tune of 41-14. But Davis said his team knows how to put things in the past. Last year was also the first start Michael Thomas got at quarterback for the Blue Devils.
"Michael is a lot better quarterback than he was in that game and he wants to go out there and prove he can lead this team," Davis said. "I am looking for a good, solid football game from our guys and I am not asking them to go above and beyond, but just to do what they are capable of. And if they do that, then we can win this game."
Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Herbert Barnes Stadium.