Blue Devils go toe-to-toe against War Eagles

Published 5:28 pm Monday, November 1, 2010

Blue Devil head coach Eric Collins was walking the sideline on Friday night here, and he turned and said, “Surprise! Surprise!”

What he meant was, at the time, the Blue Devils were leading one of the best teams in the state, the Wayne County War Eagles, on home turf.

The Blue Devils under first-year head coach Collins, a noted turn-around artist, have struggled, but they have game-after-game steadily improved.

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Everyone thought that this would be a cakewalk for the Eagles, but the Devils led for much of the first half and everytime the Eagles scored, the Blue Devils were right back in their tail feathers again.

 The Region 5-3A clash wound up 45-35, Eagles.

It was the most points in any one game scored by the Blue Devils this season. They have been shutout only once.

And the Devils’ offense churned out an amazing 554 total yards, outrushing the Eagles, who turned in a very respectable 436 total yards. PRC had 29 first downs to the Eagles 22.

But another solid stat is that the Devils had two backs — running backs Trey Wynn and Steven Kubicki — who turned in over-100-yard performances, and a third, running back Desmond Michel, who rushed for 96 yards on 12 carries, and scored two touchdowns one a 7-yard dash and the other for 4 yards.

It was Wynn’s fourth 100-yard-plus game this season. Wynn had 25 carries for 135 yards and Kubicki rolled up 103 yards on seven carries, one for a 64-yard jaunt up the middle the third play of the game for PRC’s first TD to take the lead.

And QB Dylan Spiers hit on 6 of 7 attempts for 130 yards and threw two TD strikes and a strike for a 2-point conversion. Spiers, a freshman, threw perfect strikes, deep in the end zone, one in the coffin corner. The young QB turned in a solid performance, but he was picked off twice, once for a score.

Again it was mistakes and turnovers that cost the Blue Devils; who knows if they had eliminated a few costly errors. But Collins was proud of their performance anyway.

“Anytime you churn out that kind of yardage, that’s great, but look who these guys were up against, one of the top 10 teams in the state. I am proud of these guys. They never give up and they keep on coming back,” said Collins.

Said Eagle head coach Marcus Boyles, who’s turned out a string of state championship teams.

“Were we surprised? Nope! We knew they were good and a different team this year. We’ve been watching the films,” Boyles said.

But the Eagles had to be a little surprised, when on the third play of the game, Kubicki zipped up the middle for a 64-yard race to paydirt only a minute and a half into the game with Eagles on his heels. Kicker Jevon Detto’s kick was good, and with 10:26 left in the first period, it was 7-0, Devils.

The coterie of diehard Devil fans who had followed the Devils off their home turf went crazy.

On the next series, Eagle QB Jaleel Lacy hit WR Jarvis Loper for a 21-yard strike for a touchdown with 8:24 left in the first quarter. Kicker Tyler Franklin’s kick was blocked by the Devils, score 7-6. 

Lacy was the Devils’ main problem. He was 10 of 16 for 225 yards, hitting Loper three times for TDs and once for a two-pointer.

The Devils then laced together a 67-yard, 9-play drive, capped by a 20-yard pass from Spiers to split end Zach Mitchell deep in the end zone. Detto’s kick was good, and it was 14-6, Devils, 9:24 remaining in the second.

Next, the Eagles put together a 61-yard, 7-play march, capped by a four-yard plunge by running back Dewayne Davis. Rasharid Boman ran for two to tie the game at 14 with 7:02 left in the first-half.

However, with only three minutes to go in the second period, Wayne Co. picked up its 10-point lead which it held the rest of the night.

Defensive back Michael Norsworthy picked off a Spiers’ pass on the 45 and raced 55 yards for the TD. Franklin’s kick was good, and it was 21-14, Eagles, with 3:00 minutes left in the second period.

The Devils will wind up their season by hosting the powerful district champions, West Jones, on Friday at Hendrix Stadium in Carriere. Kick-off time is 7 p.m.