Bulldogs reel in Dolphins, 6-0
Wet and rainy conditions produced a sloppy game between the Andalusia Bulldogs and the visiting Gulf Shores Dolphins at Andalusia Municipal Stadium Friday with the Bulldogs earning a 6-0 win.
The Bulldogs broke a scoreless tie late in the third quarter on a fourth-down play with a 17-yard touchdown pass. Senior quarterback C.T. Eldridge threw the ball into the front corner of the end zone where Neal Patterson outleaped a Gulf Shores' defender to come away with the ball.
The PAT attempt was blocked as the Dolphins surged through the line, but the Bulldogs had a 6-0 lead with 4:04 remaining in the third period.
It was the only pass completion of the game for Eldridge who was 1-for-4 passing with one touchdown and one interception.
The Bulldogs defense set up the offense for the score with a strong showing against a much-improved Gulf Shores squad.
Andalusia's defense also secured the small lead for the win.
The Bulldogs stopped the Dolphins from scoring twice on drives that advanced into the "red zone." Gulf Shores also started one possession at the Andalusia 25-yard line with 9:24 left to play in the game and were turned away by the Bulldogs when a pass fell incomplete on a fourth-and-eight play from the 23-yard line.
Andalusia's offense took over possession of the pigskin and ran almost seven minutes off the clock before turning it over on downs with 33 ticks left on the scoreboard clock.
The Dolphins, however, were unable to capitalize with Patterson intercepting a pass on the first play from scrimmage.
Andalusia's offense took the field. Eldridge took two snaps from freshman center Ronnie Anderson and kneeled to run out the clock for a 6-0 win.
First-year Andalusia Head Coach Tom Causey said it felt nice to get his first win as a Bulldog.
"It was ugly, but right now a win is what we need," Causey said after the game.
Causey was especially proud of the Bulldog defense. He said Zach Smith and Michael Dutton played well as did the entire defensive unit.
"I'm really proud of our defense," Causey said. "We put them in a bad way a lot of times and they went out there and played like champions."
The offense scored enough points to win and had an important drive late to seal the deal.
"Our offense had a drive there in the fourth quarter to secure a win," Causey said.
On offense, Causey lauded the effort of freshman center Ronnie Anderson who found out less than two hours before kickoff that he would be starting due Marcus Stacks' back injury. He also praised the play of offensive guard William Mellown.
Causey was also impressed with the improvement made by the Dolphins in just one week. They looked much better than the team he saw on tape.
"Gulf Shores is much improved from last week. You have to give Coach (Dwayne) Davis and his staff credit," Causey said.
Davis agreed with Causey about the way his team performed Friday and told them, "You played the way the game is supposed to be played."
He said the Dolphins came out and hit against Andalusia.
"The first game we just didn't really hit anybody," Davis explained. "Tonight, I thought we got after it."
He also praised his defense.
"Our defense gave us some opportunities. It seems like we keep shooting ourselves in the foot," he said. "We are a much better football team this week than last week."
A few miscues at costly moments proved too much for the Dolphins to overcome.
"We just didn't execute when we had to, when we were in the red zone," Davis said. "We didn't execute when we needed it.
"We are just a little ways from winning a football game," he added.
Neal Patterson was the leading rusher for the Bulldogs gaining 39 yards on nine carries. Wesley Liles had 38 yards on 18 carries for the Bulldogs. Jared McNeil had six carries for 36 yards.
Justin Williams was the leading rusher for the Dolphins with 41 yards on 17 carries.