ECHS fighting for first region win

Published 8:54 am Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Coming off a huge upset of the T.R. Miller Tigers, former No. 3-ranked team in Class 3A, the Escambia County Blue Devils look to continue their success this week against B.C. Rain Red Raiders in Atmore.

The Blue Devils (1-0, 0-0) celebrated their win over the weekend, but now go back to work focused on getting a win in their first region game of the season.

Blue Devils head coach Mark Heaton said his team fought for their win last Friday, and added it was good for everyone involved.

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“It was a big, big win,” Heaton said. “We celebrated it Friday night, all day Saturday and then the guys came in after church on Sunday and watched film. It was a huge film for those kids, this program and this community. They never gave up, and they overcame a lot of adversity.”

Although they came away with a victory, the Blue Devils will work to correct any mistakes they made in their opening game.

Heaton said he and his coaches know what areas the team needs to improve for their matchup against B.C. Rain.

“Defensively, we need to tackle better,” Heaton said. “We missed a lot of tackles last week, and I don’t think we focused well on our tackling circuits in practice. We also have a lot of special teams things to work out, and we just have to concentrate on getting where we need to be.”

As far as the team’s opponent goes, the Red Raiders are considered to be in a tight race with the Blue Devils for the playoffs.

Heaton said he considers B.C. Rain to be the fourth best team in the region.

“At the beginning of the season, the coaches vote on who they think are the best teams in the region excluding themselves,” Heaton said. “I voted them fourth, and I think this is a key game because only four teams from the region make the playoffs. If we can get a win against them then we could be in good shape getting in to the postseason.”

To stop the Red Raiders, the Blue Devils will have to be ready for several different looks Friday night.

Heaton said the Blue Devils’ opponent will line up in a pro set or spread it out.

“They’ll get into a pro-I like we do, but if that gets shut down then they will spread it out three, four or five wide,” Heaton said. “They have a really athletic quarterback that we will have to contain, so he doesn’t run all over us.”

For the Blue Devils, they have seen things they will try to take adavantage of against B.C. Rain, according to Heaton.

Heaton said some things will be added in on both sides of the ball this week.

“We’ll look to take advantage of some different things we think we can expose,” Heaton said. “Other than that, we’ll just keep working like we do every week.”

The Blue Devils and Red Raiders kick off Friday night at 7 p.m. at Herbert Barnes Stadium.

The Escambia County Blue Devils face the B.C. Rain Red Raiders Friday night in Atmore at Herbert Barnes Stadium in their first region game of the season.|Photo by Adam Prestridge