By JOSH FRYE
Despite gaining a homecoming victory against W.S. Neal on October 15, the Escambia County High Blue Devils failed to pack any of the momentum as they traveled last Friday, October 22, to face the Jackson High Aggies. Jackson shut out the Blue Devils, 57-0.
According to ECHS head coach Scott Mason, this has been more than a tough season for the Blue Devils squad. Mason said the team has been fighting through adversity all season due to Covid, injuries, deaths, a young squad and lack of senior leadership.
“We have not had an easy hand,” Mason said. “We have had a ton of our guys go down with injuries. That hurts because we do not have a ton of leadership and guys have been doubling in roles.”
According to Mason, numerous factors contributed to Friday’s loss. ECHS’s standout ball carrier Mason Huggins went out early in the first quarter with a high ankle sprain, and then two linemen went out with knee and back injuries later in the game. Mason refused to comment who the other injured players were in anticipation of this week’s upcoming game.
Despite the scoreless performance by the Blue Devils, Mason added that ECHS quarterback Dakota Despain completed 6 of 11 pass attempts for 71 yards, but failed to generate any ground numbers. Despain was sacked at least 5 times by the Aggies defense.
James Whatley led the Blue Devils with 18 carries for 58 yards. Mason Huggins had 1 carry for 6 yards during the first quarter before being injured. Anthony McCants carried once for 8 yards and gained 2 catches for 20 yards; and Lajavius Johnson had 2 catches for 32 yards.
With the loss against Jackson, ECHS will host this week’s final game of the season on Friday, October 29, against Flomaton with all hopes of post-season play gone. The Blue Devils are currently 2-7 overall with a region record of 1-5. The Flomaton Hurricanes will take the field Friday night in Atmore with an overall record of 5-3.
According to Mason, the last game of the season could be an important win for ECHS because it could help generate some much-needed momentum for the off season as the Blue Devils look to rebuild and gain more senior leadership.