By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Sophomore Jamarion Robinson hurled 3 touchdown passes, establishing a new school record as Escambia County High’s Blue Devils wrapped up the 2023 season in fine fashion last Friday, October 27.
A 28-15 win over Class 4A, Region 1 opponent Orange Beach gave the team a final record of 6-4, ECHS’s best showing since 2018.
Robinson didn’t have a spectacular night but stats posted online by the team’s coaches show he hit on 12 of 22 passes for 226 yards. He was intercepted twice.
The young quarterback connected for a scoring toss to each of 3 seniors — E.J. Thomas, who hauled in 7 passes for 95 yards and was also a defensive leader, and Lorenzo Arnold (2-18) — and connected with She’Marion Matthews on an 80-yard bomb that was the 9th-grader’s only reception of the night.
The TD passes gave Robinson 20 on the season, eclipsing Dakota DeSpain’s record of 19.
Markavion Dixon ran the ball 3 times for 34 yards, including a 28-yard scoring burst that accounted for the other ECHS TD. James Whatley, the team’s leading rusher, had 10 carries for 61 yards and was the biggest ground-gainer for the Blue Devils. Luis Garcia was successful on all 4 of his PAT kicks.
Four seniors accounted for 37 tackles to lead a swarming defensive unit. Michael French was in on a dozen stops, while Keeshan McKenzie was credited with 11, including a quarterback sack. Thomas and Markavion Dixon, who also forced a fumble, had 7 tackles each.
A trio of juniors — Gabe Hooks (6 tackles), Cali McCants and Dallas Owens (5 each) — played large roles on defense, as did sophomore Jalyn James, who recovered the fumble forced by Dixon. The ECHS defense had 11 tackles that resulted in lost yardage.
The Blue Devils will lose 15 players to graduation, but apparently have a solid core of young players to help further the rebuilding effort of Coach Vincent Harris, who is now 10-10 in his first two seasons at the ECHS helm.