Penalties, lack of plays plague ECHS in loss to Aggies

Escambia County’s Mason Huggins (26) runs the ball during last Friday’s contest against Jackson.

News Sportswriter

After having the embers of its playoff hopes extinguished a week earlier, Escambia County High’s football team fell to Jackson High, 16-6, last Friday, October 23, in Class 4A, Region 1 action.
The Blue Devils will try to close out its season on a high note this week after mustering only 37 official offensive snaps and constantly hurting themselves with penalties, against Jackson.
James Whatley, Jacobey James, Willie Banks and Mason Huggins each had strong offensive performances for ECHS. They just didn’t get many chances, as penalties wiped out yardage and kept the home team backed up all night.
“We were unable to get the ball,” ECHS head coach Scott Mason said. “We were only able to get a handful of snaps. The kids played hard on both sides of the ball and had a much better performance than in past games, but penalties killed us.”
Offensively, ECHS ended the game with a total output of 111 yards.
Three players saw time at quarterback against the Aggies. Anthony McCants, the starting quarterback for the Blue Devils, completed 5 of 8 pass attempts for 22 yards. Number-two quarterback Jeremiah George saw little time and did not gain any yardage and James, who became the team’s third signal-caller of the night, had two carries for 5 yards.
The Blue Devils defense turned in a strong performance in the first half but began to tire as the second half continued. Jackson broke the ice with a third-quarter punt return for a touchdown, and a successful two-point conversion made it 8-0.
Then, with just over six minutes left in the game, the Aggies scored again on a 20-yard pass play and earned the two extra points for a 16-0 advantage.
With less than a minute to go, Banks finally put points on the board for ECHS, which slipped to 2-7 on the season, when his 3-yard run ended in the end zone. The try for two extra points was unsuccessful.
“We had some great opportunities to score, but were let down by flags on each,” Mason said. “It was unfortunate that the kids were not rewarded for their efforts due to flags being thrown. Despite the scoreboard, they played a great game and the future looks bright for us.”
Mason added that the Blue Devils will continue to mix in young players during this Friday’s season-ending game at rival Flomaton.

News photo by Josh Frye