By JOSH FRYE
Escambia County’s struggle to find solid ground continues after the Blue Devils fell 34-0, against the Mobile Christian Leopards last Friday (September 3). The loss became the third straight for ECHS and the first win for Mobile Christian.
Mobile Christian entered last Friday’s against ECHS with a 0-1 record, after falling to UMS-Wright during their season opener on Friday, August 27. ECHS entered with a 0-2 record after losing 35-6, to Bayside Academy during the season opener and, 36-6, against T.R. Miller on Friday, August 27.
The Leopards opened scoring with a long 48-yard pass for a touchdown with 9:28 to go in the first. After a successful point after kick, Mobile Christian led, 7-0. ECHS’s starting junior quarterback, Dakota Despain, led a promising first drive for the Blue Devils, but things fell apart when a Despain pass attempt was intercepted, leading to another Leopards touchdown which closed out the first quarter with a, 14-0, Mobile Christian lead.
During the second quarter, the Leopards picked up scoring quickly with a 40-yard strike. The touchdown and extra-point boot extended the lead to 21-0. With just over 2 minutes left to play in the first half, the Leopards struck again with a 2-yard touchdown run which closed out the first half of the game with ECHS in a 27-0 hole.
With hopes for a second half turn around, the Blue Devils started out the second half with the football, but hopes were cut short with another interception thrown by Despain. The intercepted pass helped seal another short touchdown run for the Leopards with 3 minutes remaining in the quarter and the lead extended to 34-0.
During the fourth quarter the Blue Devils began gaining ground, but penalties and frustration kept pushing well-gained yardage back for ECHS. With just over 1 minute left to play in the game, James Whatley created some excitement for the Blue Devils bench and stands when he broke free on a long, 50-yard run which helped place ECHS in scoring position. However, the Blue Devils struggled with a strong Mobile Christian defense as the team tried to make a touchdown with the ball on the 3-yard line. With the seconds ticking away, the Leopards sealed the win with a sack on ECHS’s Despain.
The Blue Devils will have the chance to work out the knots this week as ECHS will enjoy a much-needed bye week before moving on to face a tough St. Michaels Catholic on Thursday, August 16. The Cardinals are currently enjoying a 2-0 record and have been placed in the national spotlight recently, thanks to former NFL San Diego Chargers and Indianapolis Colts star quarterback Phillip Rivers who has taken the reigns as the head coach of St. Michaels after announcing his retirement from the NFL earlier this year.