Devils downed by Tigers

Published 4:14 pm Sunday, September 2, 2012

Escambia County High School quarterback Chris Johnson turns the ball up field for a positive gain during the Blue Devils home opener against the T.R. Miller Tigers Friday night in Atmore.

The T.R. Miller Tigers used a 20-point second quarter to propel them to a 41-14 thrashing of the Escambia County Blue Devils Friday night in Atmore.

T.R. Miller (1-0) used a blocked punt, a punt return for touchdown, and a fumble return for a touchdown in the second quarter to score 20 points and add to a 7-0 lead after the first quarter to hold a 27-0 over the Blue Devils of Escambia County (0-1).

In the third quarter, the Tigers built a 34-0 lead and looked like they would cruise to an easy win, but the Blue Devils got a spark after a 93-yard kickoff return from Tyjustin Brown to cut the lead to 34-6 after the PAT was blocked.

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Escambia County added another touchdown in the quarter to cut the lead to 34-14 heading into the fourth, but the Tigers added the final nail in the coffin with a 2-yard score from McHenry Coleman to ice the game and seal the win by 27 points.

Tiger head coach Jamie Riggs said the big plays early helped his team to the win.

“It was very humid tonight and we knew that conditioning was going to play a factor,” Riggs said. “We tried to keep everybody as rested as we could in the first half. We made some big plays in the first half. Between the punt return, the blocked punt, the fumble recovery and the touchdown pass … that is four big plays. We are going to have to be able to do that some. In the second half, they made a few big plays on us. We didn’t contain the quarterback too good and we knew we were going to have some trouble with that. We got the control of the game back in the fourth quarter and were able to get the win. Overall, anytime you can come to Atmore and get a win the game, it feels pretty good.”

First-year Blue Devil head coach Lev Holly said early mistakes made by his team was the difference in the game, but he was proud of the response from his team in the second half after being down 27-0.

“It was a hard-fought game tonight,” Holly said. “I have a lot of respect for T.R. Miller. Coach Riggs does a great job with his team and he had his kids more prepared tonight. It is one of those things where you can’t turn it over and expect to beat a good football team. That is one thing we stressed this week was not turning it over and finish and it hurt us early. T.R. Miller was the better team tonight.”