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AHS Bulldogs drop opener, 20-9

There is no quit in Andalusia's Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs began the 2002 high school football season with a home game against the highly-touted Charles Henderson Trojans of Troy on Friday. The Trojans left Andalusia with the win, but Andalusia made it difficult.

The Bulldogs had some miscues that proved to be costly. Players on some teams would have dropped their heads and gone through the motions on the way to a defeat. The Bulldogs did just the opposite, fighting back only to fall short of their goal.

Charles Henderson capitalized on one Andalusia miscue early in the game when it converted a fumble recovery on the Bulldogs' opening drive into a touchdown.

The Trojans took over possession of the pigskin at the Andalusia 28-yard line less than two minutes into the game and went 36 yards on five plays for a 7-0 lead.

Fernando White capped off the drive with a touchdown when he hauled in a pass from Pete Van Horn and went 27 yards for the score. Daniel Porter tacked on an extra point and the Trojans held an early 7-0 advantage.

The Bulldogs answered with a score of their own after taking possession on the ensuing kickoff.

An 11-play drive resulted in a 23-yard field goal by Daniel Wall to cut the Trojans lead to 7-3 with 3:43 remaining in the opening period.

The Trojans appeared to have taken advantage of another Bulldog turnover when Aubrey Williams intercepted a pass and sprinted 40 yards into the end zone. A clipping penalty, however, voided the score.

Less than two minutes later, the Bulldogs forced the Trojans to make a mistake with pressure on the quarterback. The pressure from the defensive front forced an errant pass that was picked off by Graham Seale at the 15-yard line and returned out to the 40 before being caught by a Trojan defender.

The Andalusia drive failed to add to the Bulldog point total when a long field goal attempt was short and right.

The score remained 7-3 until the final minutes of the first half when the Trojans once again attacked after an Andalusia miscue.

A low snap on a punt attempt forced the Andalusia punter to try and run for a first down. He was tackled for a loss and the Trojans' offense set up shop at Andalusia's 19-yard line.

Two consecutive runs by Fred Jones resulted in a touchdown for a 13-3 lead. Porter added an extra point and the Trojans were out in front 14-3 with 1:50 remaining in the first half.

The Trojans added one more touchdown after the halftime intermission when Van Horn found Jacquez Williams on a 28-yard pass play for a touchdown. The extra point was off target and the Trojans held a 20-3 lead with 5:27 remaining in the third period.

Andalusia managed to put together a scoring drive to cut into the Trojans' lead after taking over possession with 1:31 left in the third period.

The Bulldogs went 70 yards on 13 plays for a touchdown when C.T. Eldridge found William Mellown on fourth down for a touchdown. The three-yard touchdown play trimmed the Trojans' lead to 20-9 after a missed extra point.

After the game, Andalusia Head Coach Paul Woolley expressed how proud he was of his players for never giving up.

"We played hard as hell," Woolley said. "We were truly impressed with the players' efforts.

"If we had a mistake here or a mistake there eliminated we'd have been right in it," Woolley added. "This is a very talented Troy football team. they are extremely talented."

Charles Henderson Head Coach Hugh Fountain said his Trojans had some miscues too.

"Well, we made a lot of mistakes, but we did a lot of good things tonight," Fountain said.

Some of the mistakes Fountain referred to were the amount of penalties the Trojans had in the game. He said it was like last week's exhibition game where the Trojans were penalized a lot.

As for the high expectations the Trojans have had placed on them, Fountain said, "We always expect a lot out of our kids."

Fountain said Fred Jones was one player who had a very good game for the Trojans rushing the ball on offense.

The Bulldogs return to action next Friday night when they travel to Gulf Shores for their first region game of the season. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

The Trojans will host the Escambia County Blue Devils of Atmore next Friday.