Escambia High Gators: Pensacola Tigers: 27 - Escambia High Gators: 7

  Pensacola Tigers: 27 - Escambia High Gators: 7 Back to Schedules and Varsity Game Summary
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Game Played 11/13/2009 7:30PM  

Pensacola High stymies Escambia in 27-7 victory
PHS v EHS 08
D.C. Reeves • dcreeves@pnj.com • November 14, 2009
With a bone-jarring hit on the first play from scrimmage, Pensacola High linebacker Alexander Black hand-delivered his team's weekly message.
Against this PHS defense, points will never come easy.

Experiencing the same frustration that nine teams already have this season, Escambia High's offense just couldn't find an answer for the Tigers' suffocating sideline-to-sideline attack. Setting the tone from play No. 1, PHS rolled over the Gators 27-7 at Jim Scoggins Stadium on Friday night in the 50th meeting between the two city rivals.

"We were just a complete defense (Friday)," Black said. "Our defense came to play, and we wanted to show that we're the best defense in the state of Florida."
Their run through the state of Florida will begin next week in the Region 1-3A quarterfinal as the Tigers host Jacksonville Bishop Kenny.

Taking their cue from Black, the Tigers (9-1), ranked No. 5 in the Class 3A poll, imposed their will early in this playoff tune-up.

Escambia started the game with four straight three-and-outs, then fumbled on the second play of its fifth possession. All told, the Gators didn't earn a first down until the 1:15 mark of the second quarter and had only five first downs on the night.

That was more than enough support for the Tigers' offense, which overcame a red zone turnover and two missed field goals to pile up a 14-0 halftime lead. PHS outgained Escambia 233-51 in the first half.

"They're an exceptional defense and an exceptional group of kids that come to work every day," said PHS head coach Mike Bennett, whose defensive unit allowed only 82 points in 10 regular-season games this year. "As a team, this is probably the best defense we've had. We've had some great individual players, but this (defensive) team may be the best. When they walk out of that locker room, they expect to shut people out."

With starting quarterback Jalen Spencer out due to a minor concussion suffered last week, backup Larry Davis filled in perfectly as a dual threat, amassing 189 total yards (92 rushing, 97 passing) and two rushing touchdowns. His 10-yard scoring scamper early in the third quarter made it 21-0, a comforting number since the PHS defense hasn't allowed more than 14 points to anyone in 2009.

The Tigers' offense was on cruise control from that point forward, posting 303 total rushing yards for the game. On a team with no true starting tailback, five PHS players ran for at least 35 yards.

And with the defense holding true to form, the Tigers tallied three sacks, forced four turnovers and didn't allow the Gators within 30 yards of the endzone until the final two minutes of the game.

Escambia scored its lone touchdown with 1:35 left in the game, a deflating hit to a defense that demands perfection.

"Our main goal as a defense is to shut people out," said Black, who had 74 tackles and a sack entering Friday's game. "If we keep doing that these next five weeks, we're going to be state champions."



1st 2nd 3rd 4th Score
Escambia

0

0

0

7

7

Pensacola

7

7

7

6

27