Blue Devils not finished

Published 9:36 pm Tuesday, September 30, 2008

By By Chandler Myers
Tenacity would have to be the word to describe Escambia County’s win over Baldwin County on Friday night in Bay Minette.
The Blue Devils have been fighting uphill battles all season long against their opponents, the referees and at times themselves.
This is not a 1-4 football team at all.
A blown call this way and a fumble not lost the other way and this is a team that should be 3-2 overall and have a 1-2 region record.
Not everything can go in the right direction for any team and when a season has gone like it has for ECHS, there are not many teams that would keep going.
Some teams would play dead and let the season slip away. Some teams would wave a white flag and get run over game after game.
The Blue Devils could have rolled over and given up on the rest of their season, but they proved that they are too good of a team to just stop fighting. This team kept rejoicing, coming back to hit teams in the mouth and it paid off in the form of a victory.
Both sides of the ball fought hard for ECHS and pushed back when they were pushed. If they were knocked down, they got right back up and knocked the Tigers of Baldwin County right back on their butts.
This team was tenacious and fought like a pack of bulldogs (not the dawgs from Georgia) and proved to be the hungrier team.
Rico Stallworth grew up on Friday and proved he has what it takes to lead this team down the stretch and into a possible playoff berth. He ran for more than 130 yards and passed for close to 100 and scored three touchdowns against the Tigers.
If Stallworth can step up, eliminate mistakes like he did against Bay Minette and continuously move the ball down the field, then there is no reason why ECHS should not be competitive in each of their final five games.
The defense has proven its worth every game by making huge plays. Forcing three and outs, stopping teams on fourth down is never easy, but this defense has heart. The Blue Devil defense plays hard every play for four quarters and never backs down from a challenge.
If the offense from Friday comes together with the defense that has been on the field all season long, then their opponents need to watch out.
The last five opponents for the Blue Devils have a combined record of 8-17 with Gulf Shores the only one with an overall winning record. Region opponents are a combined 5-8 in region play, with St. Paul’s the only one with a winning record.
Not saying that any of these games will be pushovers, but ECHS should put up a fight in each of them and if they play like they did against Baldwin County they could easily win out and reach the playoffs again.
The Blue Devils might not have a winning record right now, but they do have something that will help lead to victory.
They have that swagger now and with that swagger they have confidence. Put those two things together and the sky could be the limit for ECHS.
Chandler Myers is sports editor of the Atmore Advance. He can be reached at 368-2123.

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