ECHS to play at home

Published 8:20 am Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Escambia County will have their hands full this week in region play as they host the UMS-Wright Bulldogs at Herbert Barnes Stadium.

The Blue Devils (1-1, 1-0) are looking to earn their second win of the season after winning an 8-2 decision last Saturday against B.C. Rain in the midst of Tropical Storm Lee. UMS-Wright (2-0, 0-0) is also coming off of a win by crushing the W.S. Neal Eagles 37-6.

As the Blue Devils prepare for the Bulldogs this week, they are looking to minimize the mistakes they make in turnovers and penalties, Blue Devils head football coach Mark Heaton said.

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“We have to limit the amount of mistakes we make during a game,” he said. “We need to focus and really cut down on turnovers and how many times a flag is thrown against us.”

In the Bulldogs, the Blue Devils are preparing for an opponent with an experienced defense and young offense.

No matter how experienced UMS-Wright is on either side of the ball, the Blue Devils are playing a talented team, Heaton said.

“They are a very disciplined football team, he said. “Their kids play hard for 48 minutes, so we can’t make mistakes like turn the ball over. We’re still trying to make that turn, and if we are able to do that this week then we will be in good shape.”

Defensively, the Bulldogs bring a group of players that work well together after playing with one another for several years.

The experience will make the Blue Devils go deep into their playbook to come away with a win, Heaton said.

“Defensively, they are extremely sound,” he said. “This is a group of players that will be tough to go up against because they have played together for so long. We will need to stretch the field at times to help open up our running game if we want to be competitive.”

When the Blue Devils are on defense, the team will be looking to key in on a pair of playmaking brothers in Troy and Tyrone Dixon.

Making sure the offense is limited in their time on the field will be a focus, Heaton said.

“They have two big playmakers in the Dixon brothers,” he said. “They are young on offense, but they are talented, so we will need to control the tempo of the game to keep them in check.”

Coming away with a victory will be important for the Blue Devils as they look to set a tone early in the region.

Not having to deal with another downpour for four quarters will be important, Heaton said

“Hopefully, no more hurricanes or tropical storms will come through this week,” he said. “If we can limit their big plays then we can control the ball. If we can control the tempo, we can win this game.”

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