Blue Devils host Linden in jamboree Friday

Published 8:28 pm Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Escambia County will be back under the lights Friday night when they host the Linden Patriots at Herbert Barnes Stadium.

The Blue Devils and Patriots will face off in a jamboree aimed at giving each team to work out the final kinks before they open the regular season on Aug. 26.

Last season, the Blue Devils played the Patriots in Linden falling 21-0 to one of the top programs in Class 1A.

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This year’s jamboree could be a different s tory with the Blue Devils having a year of experience under head coach Mark Heaton.

The jamboree will set up like an actual game with a few different aspects, Heaton said.

“It will be a four-quarter game with live special teams,” Heaton said. “The junior varsity will play the first quarter, whil e the varsity will play the second, third and fourth quarters. Varsity will be handling all kicking game.”

Heaton and Linden head coach Andro Williams have known each other since high school giving Heaton knowledge about his opponent.

Knowing the work Williams puts in is something Heaton knows will show in his team, he said.

“Coach Williams and I went to school together,” Heaton said. “He does a great job and they take a lot of pride in the way they work and prepare. They are ranked second in Class 1A, and they’ll put a quality product on the field to test us.”

The Blue Devils are treating the jamboree as they would any other game.

This week is allowing ECHS to get adjusted to their game week schedule, Heaton said.

“We are treating it as much like a game as possible,” Heaton said. “Mondays are long, hard days. Tuesdays will watch some practice film, and towards the end of the week will taper off a little bit from the harder stuff.”

With the jamboree just an exhibition to give players a chance to play in a game situation, the Blue Devils are expected to uphold Heaton’s standard.

Competiting with character will be one of the team’s focuses, he said.

“We want to see our kids get after it and play hard,” he said. “We want them play with class and honor God in everything we do. We are going to make mistakes, but that’s the good thing about a jamboree. It allows us to get that on film and make adjustments.”