Blue Devils to spar with Faith Academy

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Escambia County will end its four-game road stretch in a Class 5A, Region 1 match up at Faith Academy this week.

The Blue Devils are coming off a 42-18 loss to T.R. Miller, a game where they matched up well with the Tigers, ECHS head football coach Royce Young said.

“Size wise, we matched up well with them,” young said. “With speed, we may have had a slight advantage. It just boiled down to history and tradition. T.R. Miller does everything right.

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“We had a good game plan,” he said. “We knew everything we needed to know. We had guys in position to stop the better plays.”

Young said TRM ran the play fakes pretty well and his boys found themselves chasing the wrong players.

In regards to this week, the Blue Devils (0-6) will also face a FA team that hasn’t won a game this year.

“They have not won a game, but they do have a pretty good team,” Young said. “We’re playing in this dad-gum region that’s so tough. They’ve played well in some games and had some opportunities to win. They’ve just come up a little short.

“They’ve had quite a few close games, like last Friday night,” he said. “They scored late in the game and took the lead. With less than half a minute, Leroy scored and won by three.”

Young said Faith Academy’s story is different than the Blue Devils in that they have discipline.

“We’re just the opposite,” he said. “We play undisciplined at times. Case in point, we played a solid first half against T.R. Miller, but fell apart in the second half.”

FA runs a multiple set offense, which may be a challenge for ECHS.

Throughout the season, the Blue Devils have faced adversity from early injuries to key players and losing games after putting up a good effort.

Young said with so many players being used in many different positions, not many have gotten comfortable.

“We don’t have great numbers for a 5A school,” Young said. “It seems like every week we’re having to plug in players in different positions.

“We’re not comfortable in quite a few positions, and there’s nothing we can do about it,” he said. “There’s always good and bad in scenarios. The bad is you never want to see a young man get hurt. But not the flip side, this gives someone else an opportunity to learn and get more playing time.”

Young said JQwan Thomas tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during last week’s loss.

Thomas had filled in for the injured long snapper and did well in his position, Young said.

This is the third knee injury the Blue Devils have suffered this season.

“We’ve had three knee injures and not one of them has been result of contact,” Young said. “All three have been cases where a kid plants his foot to go in a different direction, and his knee goes out on him. That is just about as bad of luck as you can have.

“It’s unfortunate we’re having these type of injuries,” he said.

Kick off at FA on Friday is at 7 p.m.