Tigers invade Atmore

Published 11:42 am Wednesday, October 10, 2007

By By Matthew Nascone
The Tigers of Thomasville bring a No. 3 ranking in the Alabama Sports Writers Association poll and a 5-1 record to Atmore Friday night for a regional battle with the 5-1 Escambia County Blue Devils.
"They are a good team and they have a lot of speed," ECHS head coach Kyle Gibson said. "And we have used this week to get our kids mentally ready to play. We want to let the kids know that we can beat this team. They are 5-1 and we are 5-1. They have beaten the same teams we have and they are no better than us."
The Tigers and the Blue Devils are tied atop the AHSAA Class 4A, Region 1 standings at 4-0 and the game will essentially determine the region championship unless some catastrophic event occurs in the weeks following the game, and Davis knows this.
"This is definitely for the region championship and it is the most important game of the season for us," Davis said. "It is the biggest game Atmore has seen in about 15 years. I am ready for it."
For the Blue Devils to win the battle for the top spot, Davis said the Devils will have to change nothing.
"We will have to continue to cause turnovers like we have been doing all year," he said. "And we have to build on what we started last week offensively."
As if the No. 3 ranked team coming into town wasn't enough, this week is also Homecoming week for the Blue Devils, but Davis is not worried about the distractions off the field.
"We talked with these guys about how the festivities are for the fans, students and community," he said. "We need to win the football game and that is what we need to worry about. We have bigger fish to fry than Homecoming and it is just another game for us."
The Blue Devils defense will be busy with a Tigers' offense that has averaged almost 40 points per game in their first six.
"We will have to shut down their running game," Davis said. "And more specifically the trap, if we don't shut down the trap we will not win the game. Defensive tackles David Quarker and James Lykes and middle linebacker Darious House need to have a great game for us to stop the trap."
Davis said offensively if senior tailback Katral James can have another game like last week's 212-yard, four touchdown night and freshman quarterback Rico Stallworth can manage the game like he did last week, the Devils will be OK.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and the Homecoming festivities will take place during halftime.

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