Devils skin Rattlers

Published 10:27 pm Wednesday, October 8, 2008

By By Chandler Myers
Good offense and great defense proved to be the deciding factor Saturday as the Escambia County Blue Devils skinned the LeFlore Rattlers 21-13 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile.
Blue Devils head coach Kyle Davis said the win was a tough, but it was necessary to keep playoff hopes alive.
The Blue Devils (2-4, 1-3) put up their strongest first half offensive performance of the season, while the defense and special teams put the game away in the second half.
Sophomore quarterback Rico Stallworth led the Blue Devils in total offense with 170 yards through the air and on the ground. Stallworth completed 5-of-13 passes for 86 yards, a touchdown and an interception, while rushing for 84 yards on 12 carries.
The Rattlers (0-6, 0-4) drove down the field and scored first, but the Blue Devils answered right back driving 72 yards and putting a touchdown on the board early in the second quarter.
The ECHS score came on first-and-10 on the LeFlore nine-yard line, with senior running back Michael Thomas zigging and zagging past Rattler defensemen on his way to the end zone. Thomas finished the night with 11 carries for 50 yards, a touchdown and 1 reception for 20 yards.
Both offenses broke down and fell into a stalemate, with the biggest play being an interception by Blue Devils junior linebacker Bryant Chambers.
Shortly before half, the Blue Devils broke the stalemate and drove down the field to the Rattlers’ 15-yard line.
On first-and-10, Stallworth dropped back, rolled out and found junior wide receiver Kingston Kraft tip-toeing the back line of the end zone with a defender shadowing him for a 15-yard touchdown pass.
Nik Radojicic missed on the extra-point opportunity.
Time would run out on the Rattlers in the first half with ECHS leading 13-7.
It looked as if the Blue Devils would run away with the game at the start of the second half.
On the opening kickoff, junior defensive back Rayvon Madison received the ball on the Blue Devils 13-yard line and burned every LeFlore tackler for an 87-yard kickoff return to give the Blue Devils a 19-7 lead.
ECHS lined up for a two-point try on the PAT and Stallworth bulled his way through the offensive line for the score to increasee the lead to 21-7.
Davis said at halftime he went into the locker room and laid it out for his offense and defense what could win the game.
The next drive started a battle between both teams barely moving the ball and turnovers being made.
LeFlore head coach Christopher Raymond said the teams really held their positions in the third quarter.
On first down, senior linebacker Eric Coley intercepted a Rattler pass, but five plays later the Blue Devils turned the ball back over to LeFlore after Stallworth threw his only interception.
The happiness did not last long for LeFlore though as they fumbled the balll on first down and Coley pounced on top of the ball.
Stallworth started the Blue Devils’ drive with a 13-yard scramble to the LeFlore six. Three straight plays of zero yards followed the run and forced the Blue Devils’ special teams to take the field. On fourth-and-five, the Rattlers blocked the field goal try by Radojicic and took over on the 20-yard line.
The defensive stances continued on the next series of plays by LeFlore with Madison picking off a pass to get the ball back for the Blue Devils.
The pushing back and forth between both teams continued and did not end until late in the fourth quarter when LeFlore scored on a one-yard run. The extra point was blocked and the Blue Devils held their lead 21-13.
After the game, Raymond said that ECHS deserved the win and really proved to have a hard-nosed football team.
The Blue Devils host Gulf Shores this Friday for homecoming at Blue Devil Stadium.
Davis said for the Blue Devils to get a victory over the Dolphins, the team will need to secure better execution.
Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

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