Baldwin County tops Escambia County, 35-22

Published 10:44 pm Friday, August 21, 2015

Escambia County's Trey Turner runs a punt return back for a touchdown earlier tonight. | Andrew Garner/The Atmore Advance

Escambia County’s Trey Turner runs a punt return back for a touchdown earlier tonight. | Andrew Garner/The Atmore Advance

By Andrew Garner


Escambia County’s Blue Devils showed a great effort in their season opener against Baldwin County Friday night, but the Tigers squeaked away with a 35-22 victory.

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Early on, it looked like both times might run up the scoreboard as each scoredon their first four possessions of the game. By halftime, the Tigers led 28-14.

ECHS cut the game to six on a 40-year punt return for a touchdown in the third quarter to provide a much-needed spark in the game that sent the sidelines and crowd into a frenzy.

“It was a great effort,” ECHS head football coach Royce Young said. “This may sound like an oxymoron, but I don’t feel like we got beat. I feel like we lost. It wasn’t so much what they did.

“We turned the ball over, and we committed some silly penalties,” he said. “We lacked discipline several times.”

The Blue Devils got on board first when Kris Brown scampered in from 26 years with 8:54 left in the first quarter.

Baldwin County answered with an eight-play, 74-yard drive that was eclipsed by a Robert Stevens 1-yard TD. With the extra point by Christopher Coleman, the Tigers led 7-6.

ECHS (0-1) drove the rest of the first quarter, and scored on the first play of the second when Brown scooted in from 16 yards. Quarterback Patrick McGee scored on the 2-point conversion to make it 14-7 with 11:49 to go in the first half.

One of BCHS’ lethal weapons it used on the Blue Devils was a stellar passing attack.

Tigers quarterback John Powell connected for a 43-yard pass, which helped garner a 3-yard touchdown run from Stevens to tie the game at 14-all.

BCHS got an onside kick, but the Blue Devils defense stepped up and held them to a three and out. ECHS was also then held to a three and out, which led to giving BCHS good field position at the 28.

Stevens scored his third touchdown of the night with 3:56 left in the second for a 21-14 advantage.

Nathan Barnes completed a six-play, 42-yard drive for a touchdown after the Tigers recovered a fumble late in the first half.

After another turnover, Baldwin County tried for a 36-year field goal, but it bounced off the post to send the game into halftime.

Escambia County put some life back in the game late in the third quarter when Trey Turner returned a 40-yard punt return for a touchdown with 1:21 left to cut the game to six at 28-22.

However, the Tigers put together a good drive on their next possession and Powell connected with Christopher Hooks for a 14-yard strike to go ahead 35-22 with the PAT.

ECHS drove the ball down to the Tigers’ red zone twice, but couldn’t punch it in to have a chance.

“That’s kind of a reflection of our haunted past from last year,” Young said about how the game went late. “Any time we get within striking distance, it’s almost that self-predicting philosophy. You can predict what’s going to happen to us. We’ve got to get to where we’re thinking more positive plays, and when we get in striking distance like that, step up and get it in the game.”

The Blue Devils host W.S. Neal on Friday night at 7.