By JOSH FRYE
Escambia County High, coming off a two-week winning spree, suffered its fourth defeat of the season last Thursday, October 1, at the hands of region foe Vigor. With the 19-0 loss, the Blue Devils record now stands at 2-4 overall, 1-2 in Class 4A, Region 1 competition.
Another major loss for ECHS came when senior defensive lineman Dezmun Crenshaw suffered a severe high ankle sprain during the game’s opening drive of the game.
“Losing Dezmun really hurt,” ECHS head coach Scott Mason said. “He is a crucial part of our defense, and we were really counting on using him. He has been a great leader for our team this season and his absence was felt. We will know more on his condition prior to this week’s game.”
As a result of Crenshaw’s loss, Vigor drove downfield early in the first quarter with an eight-play scoring drive. The Blue Devils defense stopped the two-point conversion attempt, and Vigor held a 6-0 advantage.
Late in the second quarter, the Wolves scored on another long drive, but was held once again by the ECHS defense during the two-point conversion attempt. Vigor held a 12-0 halftime lead.
The Wolves struck again late in the third quarter, and after a successful extra point kick, Vigor had a 19-0 lead that would hold throughout the remainder of the contest.
ECHS was able to hold back another Vigor scoring drive in the final period but was unable to produce a scoring drive of its own.
“We played well in some areas,” Mason said. “Vigor was very good at calling the right plays at the right times and made it very hard for us to get the ball in possession. We had given away two fumbles, which hurt us as well. We have some polishing to do.”
ECHS quarterback Anthony McCants completed four of seven passes for 16 yards and carried six times for four yards. James Whatley led the team in rushing yards with four carries for 41 yards, while Willie Banks carried 9 times for 14 yards, and Jacobey James had three carries for 17 yards.
According to Mason, Jalen Barnes and Tomorrion Knight were defensive leaders.
Mason also gave credit to the team’s other linebackers: Brian Brown, Nehemiah Tucker, Bryson Williams, Exavion Bradley, Jalen Autrey, Sennie Banks and Xavier McMillian for a strong defensive game.
ECHS will host Williamson next Monday, October 12, in another region contest. For the last two years, Williamson has ended playoff hopes for the Blue Devils.
“This is a must-win,” Mason said. “If we have any dreams of making the playoffs this season, Williamson will be our ticket in. (The Lions) are a very tough opponent. We are still in the hunt and winning this game will be a big step and statement. We have to steal this one.”