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ECHS stays winless after 34-6 loss to Williamson

MOBILE — The Blue Devils got off to a strong start Friday night, but couldn’t keep the momentum up, as Escambia County High School fell to Williamson, 34-6, at Mobile’s Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

Efram Abrams returned the opening kickoff 26 yards to give the Blue Devils strong starting field position at their own 46-yard-line. Seven plays later, facing fourth-and-2 from the Williamson 37-yard line, ECHS quarterback Marquis Brooks completed a short pass to wide receiver Devante Lee.

Lee then made a few defenders miss and broke away for a 37-yard touchdown reception. The Blue Devils missed the extra point but still led, 6-0, with 8:31 left in the first quarter.

Unfortunately, ECHS (0-8, 0-5 in Class 5A, Region 1) would not find the end zone again Friday night.

“We got off to a good start in both the first half and second half,” ECHS coach Royce Young said. “We just continued to make the same mistakes that have hurt us throughout the season.”

One of the Blue Devils’ problems on Friday night was stopping Williamson’s quarterbacks. Regular starter Geremy Hickbottom had several
big runs on quarterback keepers, and running back Adrian Portwood also made some big plays when he ran as the quarterback in their “Wildcat” formation.

“Both of those players are Division I talents,” Young said, of Hickbottom and Portwood. “We’re not very strong physically in the middle, and [Williamson] took advantage of that all night.”

Fred Holmes scored an 8-yard run and Williamson added the extra point to put the Lions ahead, 7-6, with 1:20 left in the first quarter. The Lions scored two touchdowns in the second quarter on a 6-yard run by Portlock and a 16-yard run by Hickbottom, putting Williamson ahead 19-6 at halftime.

Still trailing 19-6 in the third quarter, ECHS moved the ball down to the Williamson 34 before an interception ended the drive.

The Lions added two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter — a 7-yard run by Portlock and a 5-yard run by Reggie Teagues.

ECHS has one game remaining in its region schedule, as the Blue Devils host No. 1 St. Paul’s on Friday night at Herbert Barnes Stadium.

“It will be interesting to see how our players react at playing that caliber of an opponent,” Young said. “We have had good practices and attitudes recently, it just hasn’t translated onto the field for us. We just continue to shoot ourselves in the foot on game nights.”