Defensive-minded Devils

Published 8:52 am Wednesday, August 29, 2007

By By Matthew Nascone
Escambia County's Atmore Blue Devils traveled to Robertsdale last week for a jamboree game against the Bears. ECHS head coach Kyle Davis said that game showed him a lot about his team.
"The biggest plus from the game against Robertsdale was that we saw how dominant our defense can be," Davis said. "Hopefully we can build on that game and get better with each week. The last couple of years our defense has played catch up with our offense, but I think the defense will be our strong point this year."
The Blue Devils will try and use that defense to take down the Alabama Christian Academy Eagles in their season opener Friday night.
"I really expect Alabama Christian to be a lot better than last year," Davis said. "Last year was coach (Gregg) Baker's first year and I know from experience that it takes at least a year to start moving a program in the right direction. And they are a big team on both sides of the ball."
And Baker said about the same thing about the Blue Devils.
"They are extremely fast and very athletic," Baker said. "We will definitely have to match up with their speed to have a chance. They also look monstrous on film."
Baker said the Eagles will be out to avenge a 28-15 Blue Devils victory in 2006.
"We felt last year's game could have been a lot closer than the final score indicated," Baker said. "We failed to scored twice inside the 10-yard-line because we turned the ball over. We just hope we can make it a close game again. And if we can make this a four quarter game, we have an opportunity to win the game."
On the other hand, Davis said practically the mirror image of that last statement.
"If we play the game like we know how to, we will have a great opportunity to come out with a win," he said. "And we showed how we can play aggressive in the Robertsdale game. There were many times when I saw nine, 10 or 11 guys around the ball. We need that aggressiveness to win ball games."
That aggressiveness on defense can be boiled down to one thing, according to Davis.
"Our offense needs to adapt the attitude of our defense," he said. "Our defense is excited to play this game and I think that is something we have not had in the past."
Davis said if that excitement can show up on both sides of the ball, the Blue Devils should win the game Friday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Montgomery.
ECHS will host "Meet the Blue Devils" night tomorrow, beginning at 5:30 p.m. The school invites the community to join in the festivities. There is a pep rally planned with a hot dog supper. The Blue Devils football team, cheerleaders and band will be introduced to the community as well.

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