Andalusia faces Jackson

Published 11:59 pm Thursday, September 17, 2009

Andalusia will face its first true region test this week as the Bulldogs host Jackson tonight.

The Bulldogs are coming off recent success, having won their first three games against Straughn, B.C. Rain and W.S. Neal.

Jackson is also coming into the game with the same 3-0 record after defeating Washington County in game one, and then shutting out Hillcrest-Evergreen, 45-0, and Clarke County, 50-0.

Andalusia coach Brian Seymore said he is all too aware of the recent success Jackson has had. He said their success is primarily due to a big offensive front.

“It’s a big game for both teams,” he said. “Both teams are 2-0 in the region. Both teams have gotten off to good starts this season, but Jackson has definitely got a very solid program. They’re going to be the best team we’ve played so far this year.

“Offensively, they’re very huge up front,” he said. “As far as their size, I imagine they average around 260 (pounds) per person. They try to establish the run game and they have good backs and good speed.

“So, we’ve got to make sure our defense doesn’t stay in front of people because if they do, it could be a problem.”

Seymore said last week’s starting quarterback Deion Akins will make his second start of the season tonight.

“On offense, we’ve got to do a good job controlling the clock and running the ball down hill because they have a lot of speed on defense,” Seymore said. “We’ve got to be smart at what we do. Deion had good reps at practice this week.”

Last week, Akins was 7-for-8 with 123 yards and one touchdown, and the team total in rushing was 38 rushes for 254 yards.

Seymore added that senior quarterback Ken Chambers will be available if necessary this week.

The main key on offense for Andalusia this week is controlling the tempo of the game, Seymore said.

“We don’t want to get in a shootout with them because they’ve got an explosive offense,” he said. “We want to keep their offense off the field and play good, solid defense.”

Another factor that Andalusia (3-0, 2-0 in Class 4A, Region 1) will have to deal with tonight is the fact that Jackson has not punted the ball this season.

“It just shows you how solid their offense is,” Seymore said. “They’re very tough on offense. That’s our goal is to make them punt.

“We’re going to be aggressive on defense and we’re going to give them some different looks,” he said. “It’s a matter of our kids going out there and believing what their coaches are doing. We had a good week at practice and I think the attitude is good this week. We’re looking forward to it and it’s a great opportunity.”

At practice this week, Seymore said the main concentration has been on “execution.”

“We want to execute on offense and defense,” he said. “Basically, we’re doing a good job on fundamentals with blocking and tackling. That’s what it’s all about. The little things are a little more important than the big things. If you do the little things right, you can be successful on Friday night.”

During last week’s win against W.S. Neal, Andalusia was 2-for-8 in extra point kicks.

Seymore said special teams is still “a work in progress.”

“We’re still concerned about our extra points team,” he said. “We’re making sure there is some protection there while getting the kick down. Our coverage team is getting better and we’ve got to make sure where Jackson’s players are at and make sure we cover these kicks.”

If Andalusia were to have a grade on its performance going into tonight’s game, Seymore said he’d give them a “B.”

“I’m very happy with our defense and I think our offense has gotten better every week even with the loss of our quarterback,” he said. “I think we’ve jelled together and have found a way to jell with our athletes.”

Kickoff in Andalusia is at 7 p.m.