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AHS preps for Homecoming

Friday night's game against one of the top-ranked teams in Class 4A is another test for the Andalusia Bulldogs when the Thomasville Tigers come to town for Homecoming 2002.

It will not be an easy open-book test for the Bulldogs. Thomasville is currently ranked No. 10 among Class 4A teams and enter the game coming off a 48-7 victory against Hillcrest-Evergreen.

Thomasville is 7-1 overall and 5-1 in Class 4A, Region 1 play. Andalusia is 4-4 overall and 3-3 in region play.

The game is critical for the Bulldogs as the players try to achieve their goal of making the postseason. The Bulldogs are still mathematically alive when it comes to postseason play, but the Bulldogs will need a victory and some help.

"I think, mathematically, if we win and Hillcrest were to lose (against Gulf Shores) it would become a point system things," Andalusia Head Coach Paul Woolley said about making the playoffs and a possible tie breaker scenario. "We'll know all this Friday night, but it's pretty slim."

Adversity, however, is nothing new for this Bulldog squad.

"It's a situation where we could come out with a winning season or a break-even season and establishing an improving football program at Andalusia high School where we get better each year," Woolley said.

Woolley said he knows this team has faced a lot of tough situations and feels the players have stepped up to the challenge almost every game.

"We've only had one game out of all of them that we feel like we (the coaches) didn't get a good effort," Woolley said. "That is remarkable, considering what this team has been through since even before the start of the season."

The Bulldogs rebounded from a lackluster practice on Monday with a solid effort on Tuesday.

"They came back from a big Friday night," Woolley said. "Homecoming always takes its toll.

"We had a good day Tuesday," he added. "We were pleased with the enthusiasm and the attitude."

The Bulldogs will need to duplicate the effort they showed on Tuesday this Friday to earn a win.

"Thomasville is a very good football team," Woolley said. "They are the same caliber as UMS-Wright.

"They've just got a good overall team with good team speed," he added. "They have three or four good running backs and they can throw it enough to keep you honest."

Woolley said Thomasville is a physical and bruising team and that means the Bulldogs must step up their play a notch.

"They are physical and have excellent speed,' Woolley said. "What we feel like we have to do is some misdirection and carry it right at them. They play a press-man defense in the secondary."

Thomasville's offense is also very physical.

"They will bring it right at you," Woolley said. "They have two or three backs back from last year and the fullback, if you remember, hurt us last year."

The bottom line is the Bulldogs must prevent mistakes and use a clock-eating offense as their best defense.

"Everything in this game depends on us being able to move the ball on offense and we can't make turnovers," Woolley said.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. with pregame homecoming ceremonies set to begin at 7 p.m.