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Bulldogs face tough team in UMS-Wright

Andalusia coach Brian Seymore said Wednesday that tonight’s opponent, UMS-Wright, is the “team to beat” this season.

“To me, they are the team to beat because they could be the state champions,” Seymore said. “They’ve got two losses against Thomasville and Fairhope and I still think they are one of the top two teams in the state in Class 4A. What they do offensively and defensively is not real complicated, but they’re very fundamental in what they do.”

The Bulldogs hit the road tonight, traveling to Mobile to face UMS-Wright. Last week, Andalusia clinched a playoff spot, defeating Hillcrest-Evergreen 33-14 on homecoming.

In that game, Andalusia’s T.K. Bullard helped lead the Bulldogs (5-3, 4-2 in Class 4A, Region 1) with 15 carries for 120 yards and two touchdowns.

UMS-Wright’s Chris Dukes helped lead his team to a 37-6 victory over B.C. Rain last week with 26 carries for 171 yards and three touchdowns.

“Their go-to guy is Chris Dukes,” Seymore said. “He’s probably rushed for over 1,500 yards this season so far. He’s the man you’ve got to stop. He’s a very talented player and he’s probably the best skill player on the team this year as far as running backs.”

UMS-Wright coach Terry Curtis said it’s going to be a fight between his offense and Andalusia’s defense.

“I think defensively their front seven or eight are the key to their team and ours is going to be how well we can block them,” Curtis said. “It’s going to be our offensive line against their defensive line.

“It’s going to be a tough ball game,” he said. “They have a good team and have some good backs and have some good skill players. They seem to be playing a lot more physical than they may have in the past.”

Curtis said in order to counteract the physical play of Andalusia’s defense; his team will have to consider many options.

“We’re just going to have to move around a lot,” he said. “We’re not going to change a lot and play our game. We’re probably going to have to throw the ball a whole lot more than we’ve had to the past few weeks.”

Against B.C. Rain, UMS-Wright only had 54 passing yards.

Seymore said another concern going into tonight’s game is what UMS-Wright has to offer on special teams.

“They block a lot of punts,” Seymore said. “We’ve got to make sure our protection is down pat and we’ve got to make sure everything is in working order when we come down there (tonight).

“It’s a good opportunity to go down there and play against a higher caliber team,” he said. “Since we’ve made the playoffs, our kids are a little more loose now and I think they’ve relaxed a little bit this week. It’s been a good week at practice and I think they’re looking forward to going down there on Friday.”

Kickoff in Mobile is at 7 p.m.