Bulldogs prep for athletic Choctaw squad

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 3, 2003

Andalusia faces a must-win situation Friday night when the Choctaw County Tigers come to town for a critical Class 4A, Region 1 high school football game. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

The Bulldogs are currently 2-5 overall and 2-3 in region play. The Tigers are 3-4 overall and 3-2 in region play. The top four teams in the region will advance to the playoffs.

The Bulldogs could lose Friday night and still make the playoffs, but it isn't likely because a lot of other things out of their control would have to happen.

A win against the Tigers would help the Bulldogs' cause, but would not lock a playoff bid.

If the Bulldogs can win Friday and upset Thomasville next week it would secure a playoff spot.

Andalusia Head Coach Tom Causey is not thinking about the playoffs. He is focused on the Tigers and wants his players to concentrate on defeating Choctaw County.

Causey said it is a task that will require the Bulldogs' undivided attention.

"They are unbelievably athletic," Causey said about the Tigers. "They are probably the most athletic team we’ll play all year.

"They are fast and physical," he added.

Causey said the star for the Tigers on defense is a "phenomenal" linebacker in 6-1, 200 Merrill Johnson Jr.

"He's the best high school linebacker I've seen," Causey said.

Causey said the Bulldogs must bring their "A" game and hope for Choctaw County to come in overconfident.

"We're hoping they overlook us," Causey said. "They're a heck of a football team."

That may be asking a lot.

"They don't make many mistakes, but when they do they run you down from behind," Causey said.

The Bulldogs have to perform to win.

"We're going to keep repping the option. We have yet to run it right," Causey said. "It just comes down to execution."

The game is big for both teams.

"I promise you this is a big game for them. If they win, it wraps up third place (in the region) for them," Causey said. "We have to win to keep our playoff hopes alive.

"We're not out of it yet," he added.