By JOSH FRYE
The Escambia County High Blue Devils continue to struggle after falling 46-0 to the Vigor Wolves last Friday, October 1, during the Blue Devils’ first home game of the season.
Vigor, which continues to remain at the top of the AHSAA Class 4A, Region 1 rankings, made quick work of the Blue Devils in a game played under unusual circumstances.
Early Friday morning, the schools announced that the contest between the two schools, which was originally scheduled for kickoff at 7 p.m., had been changed to 4 p.m. due to “safety protocols.”
No specifics were given as to what that entailed.
No other details have been released as to the exact reasoning behind the time change and increased law enforcement presence, but last Friday’s game was played under the protection of numerous lawmen — Atmore Police Department, Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, Poarch Creek Tribal Police and Alabama State Troopers. The game was played without incident.
Vigor scored on its opening drive and continued to dominate during the first quarter and held a 20-0 lead early.
During the second quarter, Vigor continued to shut down the ECHS offense and scored two more times before the half. At halftime the Wolves held a dominating, 34-0 advantage over the Blue Devils.
After a short halftime break due to the situation at hand and an attempt to close out the game before sunset, ECHS’s defense made a strong stance against Vigor, allowing only one touchdown during the third quarter. With a 40-6 lead at the start of the fourth, Vigor scored with 8:08 left to play and shut down ECHS to account for the final score.
ECHS quarterback Dakota Despain completed 9 of 12 passes for 83 yards and carried the ball 9 times for 26 yards. James Whatley carried 10 times for 25 yards. Lajavious Johnson caught four passes for 36 yards. ECHS fumbled the ball three times, dropped a punt and gave up two pick-sixes.
According to ECHS head coach Scott Mason, the Blue Devils generated 150 yards of offense.
“They (Vigor) just beat us,” Mason said. “They are bigger, stronger and had an overwhelming number of senior players. They were good and they bullied us.
We have to eliminate mistakes and keep from shooting ourselves in the foot.”
With the win, Vigor advances to a 5-0 record and ECHS continues to struggle to find ground this season with a record of 1-5.
The Blue Devils will get back on the road to meet Williamson this Friday, October 8. Williamson is currently third in AHSAA Class 4A, Region 1 rankings.