I don't know what kind of oil filter wrench(es) you have. But your Escort sounds like the oil filter is in the same location as my 1996 2.0L Zetec Contour. I find it helps to jack the car safely at the front jack point on the passenger side and remove the tire. This way you can at least easily access the oil filter and with the suspension drooping it comes out with much less mess. Good luck!
The Zetec is sort of the successor to the Ford CVH engine, it came out in 1991 to replace the SOHC 8v CVH, for example a CVH head will fit on a Zetec block and so on so yes the oil filter is in almost the same place.
Yeah i will probably jack it up and remove the passenger's side front wheel to get better access to it.
I have this type of wrench : https://www.thetoolacademy.com/laser-3328-oil-filter-wrench---metal-band-1258-p.asp
wish you luck, and I have used the screwdriver through the filter, but it was many years ago when I was working my way through college and for an independent "full service station".
if it works, great, if not, you're screwed.
I'd take it back to the people who put it on and ask them not to install so tight. hopefully it's not cross threaded.
When I was 16 may parents gave me a used escort, an 86 wagon, with an unknown history (the price was right). Filter just crumpled under the wrenches we had but wouldn't come off. I ended up hammering the 2' handle and shaft of a set of fireplace pokes into it from above as a last ditch effort. That did it. It came off. I hung that filter, or what was left of it, in my locker for a month as a trophy/wall of shame.