ECHS shut out 21-0

Published 5:38 pm Saturday, October 2, 2010

It was a tale of two halves at Anderson Field in Thomasville Friday night as the No. 2-ranked Tigers came out clawing in the second half scoring three unanswered touchdowns in the third quarter to shut out the visiting Escambia County Blue Devils 21-0.

Following a defensive battle in the first half, which left the game scoreless at halftime, the Tigers (6-0, 4-0) made some adjustments in the locker room and came out fighting to open the third quarter.

Escambia County High School head coach Mark Heaton said those adjustments along with some mistakes in the second half sealed the fate for the Blue Devils (4-2, 2-2).

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“We played great assignment football the first half and we had guys come out and do exactly what we asked them to do,” he said. “In the second half, they (Thomasville) made a great adjustment and they scored on the speed sweep and had us outnumbered to that side. Then after that, we had two or three missed assignments and big runs, it was something that we didn’t do the first half and we gave it up in the second half. We just couldn’t get the ball into the end zone and we had a lot of drops. We’ve just got to get better this week and look forward to the next one.”

The Tigers wasted no time in the third quarter to break the scoreless tie when senior running back Charles Taylor raced 46 yards on the second play of the half to score in just 37 seconds. Harrison Lewis added the extra point giving Thomasville a 7-0 lead.

Escambia County was forced to punt on its first two possessions of the third quarter and Thomasville capitalized on both punts, scoring two more times.

On the third play of the Tigers’ second series, junior running back Tyler Hayes danced in from 11 yards out. Senior Michael Thornton followed that up on the next drive with an 11-yard touchdown to cap off a six play, 67-yard drive. Lewis added both extra points to put the Tigers in the driver’s seat, 21-0.

Thomasville head coach Jack Hawkins credited some fine-tuning in the locker room to his team’s success in the second half.

“Escambia County has a good football team,” he said. “They came to play, we came to play and it was a good first half. We got in at halftime and made some adjustments and came out and played well.”

Hawkins added that he was pleased to shutdown Escambia County’s offense, which has proven explosive this season.

“I was proud of our defense for keeping their offense off the board,” he said. “Rico (Stallworth) is a great player and for us to keep a goose egg on the board is big for our defense. They’ve got a good team though and we knew that coming in. I’m just glad to get away with a win.”

The Blue Devils’ defense calmed down in the fourth quarter and was able to keep the Tigers’ offense tame, but offensively they were unable to push the ball down the field.

“I thought our defensive line grew up tonight,” Heaton said. “I think they made a turn for the better and I think we are a lot better football team. If we get the chance to be in the playoffs, we may get the chance to see these guys again.”

The Blue Devils take on Saraland for homecoming next week as they attempt to recover from some injuries and stay focused during a week filled with celebrations and distractions.

“We’re going to let the kids enjoy it some, but we’re going to stay focused and we’ve got to get better everyday in practice and get some of the younger guys down on the depth chart a little bit more reps in hopes of keeping our players healthy,” Heaton said. “Right now, I’ve got to get in and evaluate our players, we’re real banged up.”

Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

Escambia County Blue Devils wide receiver Montez Riley is tackled by a swarm of Thomasville Tigers in Friday night’s 21-0 loss in Thomasville.|Photo by Adam Prestridge