Devils wrap up regional play
By By Matthew Nascone
The Panthers of Southside-Selma High School invade Atmore Friday night and Escambia County High School head football coach Kyle Davis has his players ready to end regional play with a win. But Davis will make sure the Blue Devils don't look past the game.
"We want to wrap up third place in the region," Davis said. "And we can do that with a win. We will also make sure we have a winning season with our sixth victory."
It has been more than a decade since the last winning football season in Atmore.
"But our goal is the finish the regular season as best as we can, and that is 7-3," Davis said.
The Panthers are 2-6 for the season, but Davis will make sure his team does not let up.
"They are one of those teams that if you slip up, they will beat you," he said. "They are a very athletic team and on defense they are fast."
The Blue Devils are coming off a 39-13 victory that clinched the team a berth in the playoffs. Southside was crushed by Thomasville last week, 41-16, and will be looking for a victory.
On the offensive side of the ball, Southside will come at the Blue Devil defense with a spread attack, but unlike the Blue Devils, the Panthers like to throw a lot from the spread. Davis said they threw the ball 41 times against Thomasville.
When talking about the season so far, Davis had an analogy for how his team has played.
"We are on a roller coaster ride," he said. "After the win over Neal we were on a huge high. And then we had a big loss to Thomasville that set us back a little, but the guys came back immediately with a huge win over Monroe County to get into the playoffs. And now we will have to see how they play after that big win. We have to take care of business."
Davis admitted it should be an easier road mentally to play these final two games knowing they will be in the playoffs.
"It is a lot easier to play when you know you have secured the playoffs," Davis said. "Now we just have to go out there and play to win and have fun. We are now playing for our position in the playoffs. And we are in the position to make Escambia County better."
Before the game Friday night the seniors on the football team, in the band and in the JROTC program will be honored at 6:30 p.m. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Herbert Barnes Stadium.