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Consistency is key

After defeating city rival Straughn last Friday night, Andalusia is ready to focus on the rest of the season.

Last Friday night, the Bulldogs surprised many in attendance as senior running back Demetrius Reed helped execute a fake punt play late in the fourth quarter for a 58-yard touchdown, which gave his team the needed push to win the game, 20-7.

Right now, Andalusia coach Brian Seymore and his team have momentum as they head into their schedule of tough Class 4A, Region 1, opponents.

This time last season, Seymore was just starting his first year at the helm of the Bulldog program, and his team had already suffered a preseason loss to Class 6A Fairhope and a first game 50-26 loss to Straughn.

“It was very important for our team to get that win (against Straughn) because now I think the team can relax and play football,” Seymore said. “Maybe we can correct a lot of the mistakes we made on Friday night.

“We felt like our players put way too much pressure on themselves for that game,” he said. “We kept trying to get them to relax a little bit and they get caught up in the situation. They understood the magnitude of the game and the expectations from the community on both sides.”

As of right now, Seymore said “morale” is up on the team.

“I think they are excited about the win and the morale is up,” he said. “To a certain point, you’re glad it’s over with. You’re kind of glad to be able to put it behind you.

“Straughn and us both have some tough teams in region play,” he said. “We have some good games coming up and you want to try and get a little bit better the next game every time you go out there. That’s our main focus right now. Right now, our main focus is on B.C. Rain.”

On the fake punt play, Seymore said simply that he was “blessed” it worked.

“There were two things that I saw,” Seymore said. “I had to make the final decision about the fake punt. I saw a lot of kids on knees on the front line looking a little bit gassed and a little bit tired.

“It was fourth-and-14 and it was obvious nobody thought we’d fake it,” he said. “ We saw film in the past and how they aligned and we felt like it was there. It was just a gut call and we’re fortunate it worked.”

An added positive to the game last Friday night was the return of junior linebacker Johnny Jones.

Jones injured his knee and did not play in the 9-0 win over Elba in the jamboree game Aug. 21.

Seymore said even he was surprised Jones returned to the field so quickly.

“I just felt like he did a good job rehabbing that knee,” he said. “They got a lot done on that knee in a short amount of time. He didn’t go full speed at practice and we worked on drills and stuff like that, but he wanted to give it a go and I’ll tell you, (his knee) must have loosened up a bunch.

“It was good to see Johnny back out there.”

As for the rest of the season, Seymore said right now the team must continue to be more consistent.

“I just hope we can be more efficient on offense,” Seymore said. “There will come a time when the defense can’t play the whole game and our offense has got to step up and take some pride and leadership and we’ve got to put some more points on the board.”

Seymore added that having a “full spring training” helped lead to some of the initial success his team is seeing.

“We’ve got to concentrate on our next opponent,” he said. “Our region is so balanced from top to bottom. You can’t afford any losses.

“It’s a fresh start,” he said. “It’s a lot easier to motivate our kids and coaches after winning game one. I think last year losing that first game to Straughn affected our whole season. Hopefully, this is just the opposite and gives us a boost and gets us motivated for the next game.”