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SWEET VICTORY: Andalusia rolls past rival Bobcats

The Andalusia Bulldogs (3-3) scored early and often on their way to a 48-21 victory over the Opp Bobcats (2-3) on Friday night in Opp.

Opp got the ball to start the game, but a big sack on third down from Cam Morrisette sacked Bobcats quarterback Hal Smithart to force a punt.

Jake Wilson found Elijah McClain on the second play from scrimmage for a big gain down to the Opp 1-yard line.

Josh Gurley punched it in from 1-yard out and the extra point from Reese Burkhardt gave Andalusia a 7-0 lead with 9:18 left in the first quarter.

Andalusia’s defense forced another quick three-and-out from the Bobcats.

Bry Burnett got positive yardage on Andalusia’s next drive and another big run from McClain set the Bulldogs up deep in Opp territory.

Morrisette capped off the drive with a 14-yard run to and Burkhardt’s extra point gave Andalusia a 14-0 lead with 5:38 left in the opening quarter.

After two quick incompletions started Opp’s ensuing drive, Drexter Lee picked off a Bobcat pass on the sideline while keeping both feet inbounds.

Lee tiptoed up the sideline for a few yards before catching a seam and returning the pick for a Bulldog touchdown.

Burkhardt’s extra point gave Andalusia a 21-0 lead with 5:10 left in the first quarter.

Opp’s next drive didn’t last long as Mike Hourel Jr., picked off an Opp pass and returned it to the Bobcat 14-yard line.

Following a 5-yard penalty to the Bulldogs, McClain rushed in for a 19-yard touchdown.

Burkhardt’s extra point gave the Bulldogs a 28-0 lead with 3:53 left in the first quarter.

Opp wasn’t going to give up and Ashton Patel broke off a long run to start Opp’s next drive.

Smithart then found Patel on a screen pass that put them down to the Andalusia 2-yard line.

Smithart then punched it in from two yards out.

With 1:30 left to play in the first, Andalusia was up 28-7.

Andalusia drove down the field on the next drive, but the Opp defense forced the Bulldogs to attempt a long field goal. The field came up short and Opp took over on their own 20-yard line.

Smithart connected on another screen pass, but Andalusia’s McClain had other plans for the ball.

McClain ripped the ball out the Bobcat player’s hands and raced nearly 30 yards to the end zone to put Andalusia up 35-8 with 7:56 left before halftime.

On the opening drive of the third quarter, Andalusia got a few big runs from McClain to put them deep in Opp territory.

Morrisette then used a powerful run to score from 15 yards out.

Burkhardt tacked on the extra point to go up 42-7.

Andalusia’s final scoring play came on an 18-yard score from Gurley with 3:28 left in the third quarter.

Opp continued to battle and Smithart connected on long passes to Erik Matthews and DaDa Stoudemire.

Matthew hauled in a 20-yard touchdown pass from Smithart as the Bobcats trailed 48-14 with 48 seconds left in the third quarter.

Opp capped off the scoring with a long touchdown pass from Smithart to Stoudemire with five minutes left in the game.

“We talked it about before we came out, but there was a different atmosphere when we came out for warm ups,” Andalusia head coach Trent Taylor said. “Football is a game you have to play with passion all the time. It’s our fault that we haven’t done that, but I’m very proud of our kids. We wanted to establish the run and I think we did that. We’ve got some running backs that we need to be handing the football to. They did a great job tonight. I was extremely proud of our guys up front. We just have to continue to work to get better.”

Opp head coach Brent Hill said he was proud that his team kept fighting.

“I tip my hat to Coach (Trent) Taylor first,” Hill said. “He has done an outstanding job and I thought the Andalusia offensive and defensive line really controlled that game. We had a pick six that hurt us, but that was due to having a lot of pressure by the Andalusia d-line. It was a great job by their defense. Turnovers were a part, but the biggest thing was we had to quickly adjust and do different things. I’m proud of the way these kids didn’t quit. We kept fighting. We are still a young team. We have 10 seniors and I love those boys. They have been through a lot. I’m proud to see them fighting and I’m seeing some juniors start to step up. We’ve still got a little bit to go, but the biggest thing I’m happy about tonight is neither team got any major injuries. As long we keep fighting and keep improving, we will get better.”

Andalusia will play Williamson at home next Friday night in what will be the school’s 1,000th high school football game.

Opp will host Wicksburg next Friday.