Andalusia pounds Opp, 32-12

Published 12:27 pm Saturday, November 1, 2008

It was the perfect end to a losing season.

Andalusia (2-8) crushed Opp (5-5) in what may have been the Bulldogs’ most important game of its season, 32-12.

Andalusia coach Brian Seymore said he had a strong feeling that the team was going to get a win.

“There wasn’t any doubt in my mind that we were ready,” said Seymore, who was drenched after getting an ice water shower from his players following the win. “They were looking for it. We said we’d line up and be physical at the point of attack and there weren’t any tricks about it. Our kids responded and I’m very happy for the seniors.”

It was not until the second quarter when the game was definitely in the hands of Andalusia.

On a third-and-3 play, Opp junior quarterback Gavin Free tossed one of two interceptions in the game right in the hands of Andalusia’s O’Brien Curry.

After the interception, Andalusia drove the ball down to the Opp 10-yard line where senior quarterback Brent Shiver drove the ball in 8 yards for a touchdown to put the Bulldogs up 10-0.

Earlier in the second quarter, kicker Gillis Jones kicked a 19-yard field goal with 7:57 left in the half.

Andalusia forced a punt on Opp’s next possession and rallied to get 17 points ahead as C.J. Richardson carried the ball in for a 1-yard touchdown with 1:37 left in the first half.

Opp answered with a 1-yard touchdown by Richard Davis on the Bobcats’ next possession with only 7 seconds left in the half to put the score at 17-6.

At halftime, Seymore said that he was not going to change anything about the game plan going into the second half.

“I told the guys we’re not changing,” Seymore said. “We came in with a game plan and we were going to stick with the game plan. I just felt really comfortable all week because I know what these kids faced all year with the diversity. They really wanted to go out with a win.”

Curry caught his second interception of the night in the third quarter to give Andalusia the momentum to score another touchdown.

On third-and-1 at the beginning of the fourth quarter, Andalusia’s C.J. Richardson scooted his way in to the end zone for the touchdown.

On the extra point, Shiver tossed the ball to Jones, who ran the ball in for a two-point conversion to bring the game to 25-6.

Things started to go Opp’s way early in the fourth quarter when Richardson fumbled the ball at the 8:01 mark.

On their first drive, the Bobcats’ Quadir Kincaid scored his only touchdown by running the ball down the field 47 yards for the score.

Seymore said in order for Andalusia to become a good football team, the Bulldogs need to take care of turnovers.

“Of course, we gave up big plays a couple of times and we had some turnovers,” Seymore said. “That’s what we have to continue to do to take care of those mistakes and be a good football team.”

To cap off the game in winning style, Shiver connected to senior Leslie James for a 31-yard pass to set up a 1-yard touchdown run, which Shiver delivered in himself.

Despite the loss, Bobcats head coach Jack Whigham said the team did what was asked of them in the game.

“I challenged our kids today to play with courage and play as hard as they can play,” Whigham said. “I think our kids played as hard as they can play. That’s what I asked them to do. They played against a football team that is physically more talented than they were. So, I’m not upset, I’m not embarrassed and I’m not disheartened.”

Whigham said there is still some work that needs to be done.

“We need to find out a way to block nine people in the box and you can’t do that,” he said. “When they have nine people up there and they go press coverage you’ve got to be able to spread the field a little bit. We had some chances to make some completions and we didn’t make them. We made some good plays in a tight ball game when both offenses are trying to move the ball.

“There’s a fumble here and something like that can make the difference in the game,” he said. “We weren’t able to get them back up off of us because we couldn’t protect long enough to get our receivers open.”

Leading rusher for Andalusia was C.J. Richardson with 23 carries for 152 yards.

Shiver was 6-of-9 passing for 62 yards.

Opp was 6-of-13 for 86 yards in passing and had 26 carries for 84 yards.

Opp will travel to Mobile to play UMS-Wright in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs next Friday night. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.