ECHS loses 52-20 to Hillcrest-Evergreen

Published 10:11 pm Friday, October 18, 2013

Blue Devils' Devonte Lee tips a pass in a loss to Hillcrest-Evergreen.

Blue Devils’ Devonte Lee tips a pass in a loss to Hillcrest-Evergreen.

The Escambia County High School Blue Devils faltered on homecoming night to lose 52-20 to Hillcrest-Evergreen.

The game was tied at 14-14 at halftime and the Blue Devils led 20-14 in the third quarter before the Jaguars’ running game took over.

“I felt like we had some chances,” coach Lev Holly said. “We made a few plays.”

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ECHS made some big plays, particularly in the passing game. Quarterback Chris Johnson completed 12 of 20 passes for 185 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.

The Blue Devils struggled in the ground game, finishing with negative yardage on 21 total carries.

Two offside penalties helped the Jaguars advance the ball in their first drive. Runs by Ramaan King, Kyantrae Lewis, LaBarron Dees and quarterback Keyshawn Roach also helped Hillcrest move the ball down the field.

Lewis scored on a 2-yard run and the kick by Tyrell Riley was good. Hillcrest-Evergreen led 7-0 with 7:06 left in the first quarter.

The Blue Devils started things off with a 3-yard run and then a 12-yard Johnson pass to Gaetyn Thames. After a sack, Johnson completed a 24-yard pass to Thames and ran twice before a false start slowed things down.

Johnson was sacked and ECHS was forced to punt from its own 35-yard line. ECHS got possession back at the Jaguars’ 37-yard line after the punt was muffed.

ECHS made quick work of the ensuing drive, scoring after only five plays. The first of those plays was a 31-yard pass from Johnson to Devante Williams. Johnson picked up 5 yards on the next play before Thames scored on a fourth-and-goal on the 1-yard line.

The Blue Devils took an 8-7 lead after Devante Dailey ran the ball in for a two-point conversion.

The teams traded punts over the next two possessions before the Jaguars were able to score on a 26-yard run by Cordarius Mims. The Riley kick was good and Hillcrest led 14-8.

ECHS got to work on the next drive from its own 28-yard line. Johnson completed a 7-yard pass to Williams and ran for an 11-yard gain. Thames gained 4 yards on the ground before Johnson hit Williams twice with passes totaling 46 yards.

Thames then found pay dirt from a yard out and the two-point attempt was no good. The Blue Devils tied the game at 14 with 40 seconds left before halftime.

The Blue Devils took the ball at their own 41-yard line to start the second half. Johnson ran for 13 yards before he connected with D’Andre Lambert for a 46-yard touchdown. A Thames run failed to convert the two points and ECHS led 20-14 with 11:36 left in the third quarter.

The Jaguars answered almost immediately with a 21-yard scamper by Mims and a 20-yard run by King. Those runs set up Lewis, who took it in from 20 yards out for a score. The Riley kick was good and Hillcrest led 21-20 with 10:43 left in the third.

Johnson was picked off by Lewis to end the Blue Devils’ next offensive threat, and Lewis would also later score for the Jaguars from 9 yards out. The Riley kick was good and Hillcrest took a 28-20 lead with 6:18 left in the third.

The Blue Devils gained 2 yards on the next drive with runs by Johnson and Williams, but had to punt.

The Jaguars scored again before the third quarter ended. The eight-play drive took 3:12 off the clock and resulted in a 13-yard rushing touchdown for Roach.

The Riley kick was good and Hillcrest increased its lead to 34-20 with 44 seconds left.

The Blue Devils were forced into a three-and-out after a run that lost 3 yards, and two incomplete passes.

The Jaguars scored in 1:34 on the ensuing drive. The six-play drive was aided by an offside call and five running plays that all gained first downs. The drive culminated in a 5-yard touchdown run by King.

The Riley kick was good and Hillcrest led 41-20 with 10:01 remaining in the game.

Johnson completed a 9-yard pass to Lambert on the ensuing Blue Devils’ drive, but was sacked on the very next play and then threw his second interception.

The Jaguars scored on the ensuing two-play drive on a 37-yard run by Mims. The two-point conversion was good and Hillcrest led 49-20.

Johnson completed a 9-yard pass to Darian Staples on the ensuing drive, but threw three incomplete passes and the ball went back over to the Jaguars with 5:42 left in the game.

The Jaguars scored their final points of the game on a 30-yard field goal by Riley.

Holly said after the game that his players continue to work hard despite the tough season.

“I give credit to my players,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of stuff to build on and the program is headed in the right direction.”

ECHS travels to face Andalusia Friday, with kickoff at 7 p.m.