ECHS meets Faith

Published 5:17 pm Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Escambia County found their way back to the win column last week with a 28-15 victory over the W.S. Neal Eagles in East Brewton.

The Blue Devils (2-2, 2-1) move back into non-region play this week and host Faith Academy from Class 5A Region 1 where they will seek a third straight win over the Rams. The Rams (1-3, 1-2) were a region opponent for the Blue Devils from 2008-09.

In preparing for this week’s game, the Blue Devils are using practice time to hone in on the little things that turn a game into one team or the other’s favor. Running each play properly is important in order to be successful and pick up a win, Escambia County Blue Devils head football coach Mark Heaton said.

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“We’ve got to focus on offensive execution this week,” he said. “We need to get to where we don’t have bad snaps, dropped snaps and dropped passes. Thankfully, we cut down on penalties last week with only one or two all night. We also made it through the game without any turnovers. We need to make big plays early, so we can pull away in a ball game.”

The Rams are a team like the Blue Devils that play in a tough region with teams such as Spanish Fort, St. Paul’s and Vigor.
Early, the Rams have had trouble picking up wins, but have been competitive in four of their games.

Heaton said the game will be tough, especially with the Rams earning their first win last week.

“Faith Academy is 1-3 and lost a couple of close games,” he said. “They also lost a game to St. Paul’s, which is one of the top teams in Class 5A. They’ve played some great competition. They beat Citronelle for their first win last week, so their kids are probably hungry to move on and get another victory. They are big and fast offensively. Defensively, they play sound football. This will be a tough game.”

The Blue Devils will need to win each match up on the field in order to come away with a victory this week.
Stopping the run game will be the defense’s focus, while the offense tries to stretch the field, Heaton said.

“On defense, our key match up will be our front against their front and their Wing-T offense,” he said. “Offensively, we’ll need to catch them in stunts and try to throw the football.”

To have the best chance for a win, the Blue Devils have to heed Heaton’s warning of “execution.”

Players on offense and defense must do all of the right things to win, Heaton said.

“We’ve got to do a better job of executing our defense,” he said. “We need our guys to make all of the right reads and movements to give ourselves a chance to win. Overall, we need to cut down on penalties again and not have any turnovers.”

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