Bulldogs hungry for more
The No. 5 Andalusia Bulldogs (7-1, 5-0) will have a chance to wrap up the top spot in Class 4A, Region 2 with a win over Montgomery Catholic (3-5, 1-4) Friday night in Montgomery.
Andalusia won the only previous match up between the two squads when the Bulldogs topped the Knights last season, 41-21.
“They aren’t a team that we can take lightly,” Andalusia head coach Trent Taylor said. “I think they are a lot like the team we played last week, in that they have a new coach and they are moving in the right direction. They do a lot of things right, and it just seems like every time they get something going something bad happens. They will get on the right track, but we just hope it isn’t this week.”
The Bulldogs clinched a playoff spot last week when they ran all over the Headland Rams, but this week Andalusia will have the opportunity to clinch the top spot in Region 2 heading into the playoffs.
So far this season, Andalusia has the top offense and defense in Region 2.
The Bulldog offense, led by junior running back Jamal Hourel, has chewed up opposing defenses to the tune of 260 points this season.
Hourel has put up staggering numbers behind a powerful Bulldog offensive line.
Through eight games, Hourel has carried the ball 139 times for 1,587 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Quarterbacks Taylor Griffin and Ethan Wilson have also picked good yardage on the ground, and both have scored three touchdowns.
Griffin has also thrown for 346 yards and touchdown, and Wilson has thrown for 153 yards and two scores.
B.J. Anderson is the top receiver for the Bulldogs with 10 catches for 189 yards and a touchdown.
Jaden Brown has hauled in seven catches for 113 yards, and Derrick McQueen has two catches for 94 yards and a touchdown.
While the Bulldogs are on defense, they must be prepared to defend the pass against the Knights, Taylor said.
“They will get in several formations on offense to try and confuse our defense,” Taylor said. “Our defense will have to be very aware of their checks this week, and where every on is lined up.”
The Knights’ quarterback Blake Johnson has completed 63-of-133 pass attempts for 1,236 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Johnson will spread the ball out between receivers Landon Pritchett, Trey Downes, Kamryn Johnson and running back Michael Collins.
Pritchett is the leading receiver with 13 catches for 473 yards and five touchdowns, and Downes has 10 catches for 179 yards and two touchdowns.
The Knights also have a decent running game, as Collins has rushed 80 times for 622 yards and seven touchdowns.
Greg Ellis has rushed 44 times for 263 yards and four touchdowns, and Blake Johnson has picked up 168 yards and four touchdowns while scrambling for the pocket.
The Knights’ offensive attack will have to contend for Region 2’s top defense in the Bulldogs, who have only allowed 123 points this season.
Andalusia’s defensive front, led by Trevor Parker and Morris Calloway, have wreaked havoc on offenses this season, and look to get after the Knights on Friday night, Taylor said.
While the Knights do a lot of things right on offense, it’s their kicking game that Taylor said they are best at.
“Their kicking game is probably the best we will face all year,” Taylor said. “That’s a part of the game that tends to go unnoticed by a lot of people, but it’s a very important aspect of the game.”
The Knights might not be playing for a playoff spot, but Taylor said that doesn’t mean the Bulldogs can take them lightly.
“The guys know that this won’t be a team that we can take lightly,” Taylor said. “I think our guys will be ready, though. We have had a good week of practice, and all we have to do is play like we played last Friday. Our intensity was exactly where it needed to be, and now we have to keep building on that. This time of the year, that is what you have to do.”
After Friday’s game with Montgomery Catholic, the Bulldogs’ final game of the regular season will be Oct. 23 against region and county rival Straughn.
Kickoff for Friday night’s game between the Bulldogs and the Knights will be at 7 p.m., in Montgomery.