Herbert Barnes to play host to visiting Jaguars
By By Matthew Nascone
Coming down from an emotional high can be a tough thing for any team to accomplish. Escambia County High School head football coach Kyle Davis said he knows what he has to do to keep his team grounded after the team's huge 10-2 win over archrival T.R. Miller last Friday.
"We need to stay focused on what we have been doing all year, and that is taking one game at a time," Davis said. "We as a coaching staff need to make sure the kids feet stay on the ground."
But to go 3-0 in regional play before the mid-season break would be something Davis said he would love to do.
"Any team that is 3-0 in the region can write their own checks for the rest of the season," he said. "That is the position any coach loves to be in because it puts your team in a great position to make the playoffs. We all know the ultimate goal is to get to the playoffs and give your team a chance to win the championship."
The Blue Devils' (3-0, 2-0) opponent for week four is no slouch either.
"Hillcrest is the best team we have faced so far," Davis said. "They have gotten better in the years under coach (Maurice) Belser. Two years ago they looked like a team with no vision, but you can tell those guys over there are buying into what coach Belser is coaching and they will be a tough opponent for us."
Davis said there are a couple key elements the Blue Devils will have to have for success Friday.
"We have to continue to improve with each ball game," Davis said. "The consistency of our defense is phenomenal and I am so proud of how they have played, but our offense needs to turn the corner this week. We had a little setback against Miller, but we are young and these guys are still learning how to play together."
The defensive effort against Miller included 75 total yards of offense for the Tigers. But the offense has been a little bit of a "roller coaster these past few weeks," according to Davis.
Davis said the defense will be tested against a Hillcrest offense that likes to throw the ball and can do it well.
"We need to stop their potent pass attack," he said. "They like tossing it around in the spread offense, kind of like us and we need to shut that down to win the game."
The problem with the Devil offense is not in how they move the ball, but how they stall inside the red zone.
"We can move the ball just fine, but when we get inside the 20-yard line we need to punch it in some more," Davis said. "We had a couple of scoring opportunities against Miller that we did not take advantage of and that needs to change. But I know these guys will get it going."
Kickoff is set for Friday at 7 p.m. in Herbert Barnes Stadium.