By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Escambia County High’s Blue Devils went into their Thursday, October 25, game against Williamson believing they had already locked up a postseason berth whether they won, lost or tied the Lions.
Well, the playoffs were not a sure thing, and the team came out on the short end of a 7-2 slugfest on a wet and muddy Ladd-Peebles Stadium turf. That combination, reinforced by Andalusia’s win over Clarke County the next night, proved disastrous for ECHS.
“I felt like our defense was awesome the whole game,” a dejected Jackson said the morning after the bitter defeat. “The whole unit played well. We just couldn’t get anything going offensively.”
The low-scoring loss represented the first time this season that ECHS dropped consecutive contests.
Official statistics had not been announced by late Monday, but Jackson said his team, which led 2-0 at the half before rain moved back in to further saturate an already soggy playing field, dominated the game despite the failure to put the home-standing Lions away.
“We were in the red zone three times and couldn’t score,” he said. “We had about 150-160 yards of offense, and our defense held (Williamson) to probably 60-75 yards of offense. But they won the game.”
The ECHS coach said his Blue Devils, who fell to 5-4 but have guaranteed the school’s first non-losing season since 2011, will try to get off the mat and finish the year with a win over Class 1A Francis Marion, which will travel to Atmore this Thursday.
“I’m proud of the boys, but they have to learn how to finish games and how to win games,” he said. “We’ve had a great year and we’re going to finish strong, even after this disappointing loss. We’re 5-4, and all four of our losses (to Hillcrest-Evergreen, Flomaton, UMS-Wright and Williamson) were to teams who are in the playoffs.”