AHS vs. Opp: Round 2
Andalusia and Opp will meet tonight for the second straight time this season, but this time the game will mark the end of one of their seasons.
The Bulldogs and Bobcats, who each have identical 6-4 records, will meet tonight at Channel-Lee Stadium at Opp in the first round of the 4A playoffs.
The Bulldogs claimed the “Round 1” victory last week, defeating Opp 24-12, in the final regular-season game for both teams.
In that game, Andalusia’s T.K. Bullard led his team in rushing with 124 yards on 24 carries and one touchdown. Two other Andalusia players, Deion Akins and Marcus Jones, scored the other running touchdowns.
Opp’s Josh Scarbrough and Britt Wilson scored the Bobcats’ only touchdowns of the night on a rush and a pass.
Andalusia coach Brian Seymore said the game tonight would be much the same as last week’s.
“I think both teams will be well-prepared,” Seymore said. “I think the team that goes out there and plays good football, and does the small things — blocking and tackling — right, then they will definitely have the advantage. I feel like our kids understand the urgency of this game.”
Opp coach Jack Whigham said he is fully aware of what Andalusia will bring tonight.
“They have a great football team,” Whigham said. “We knew that before last week and we still know it now. They’re very talented. They have a lot of speed and what we were concerned about came to pass the other night.
“We turned the ball over twice in the red zone and we can’t do that,” he said. “We can’t do that and win games.”
Seymore said while he thinks the team executed well last week, there were still some areas that needed improving.
He said in order to be able to contain Scarbrough and Richard Davis again tonight, the defense will have to give its best effort.
“Richard Davis and Josh Scarbrough both are good backs and both have two different styles,” Seymore said. “One is more of a slash guy and has good speed and the other is a good physical inside runner.
“It all comes down to good tackling and good blocks,” he said. “We’ve got to put as many folks in the box as we can on defense that we can get away with, but always be leery of (Opp) throwing the football down the field.”
When asked whether Opp will be utilizing its passing game more often tonight, Whigham said his team won’t change from its offensive identity.
“We’re going to try to do what we do,” Whigham said. “We’re a play-action passing attack. We’re going to try and run the football and run the clock that way. It may not be exciting to a lot of people, but that’s what we do. Nothing would suit me better then to make 4 yards a play.”
Andalusia made a statement last week on its first drive, taking advantage of its running game to score in the first quarter.
Whigham said it’s important to come out tonight and get ahead early.
“It’s a good tone setter, but even if you don’t score in your first drive, you can knock out a couple first downs and change the field positions,” Whigham said. “If we can punt them deep, then it will be a good first drive.”
Seymore said the key for his offense is also to gain control of the clock.
“If we got the ball on offense and we’re moving the ball on first downs, then their offense is not on the field,” Seymore said. “That’s what we want to do, because I think the team that can control the clock and dictate their will offensively — as far as the run game — will be successful in the end.”
Both Seymore and Whigham said their teams have had a good week at practice and that their players are ready for the game tonight, both mentally and physically.
“I like the attention our kids have been giving to the game this week at practice,” Whigham said. “The weather has been great. They’re really concentrating on their assignments. They really feel like they can win this game.”
Seymore said, “We had a real good practice on Monday. Tuesday, I guess practice was okay. We’ve got to make sure we get our head on the right side. It doesn’t take but a seam for these backs (Scarbrough and Davis) to get through. It’s more about getting your marks through on defense.”
Kickoff in Opp is at 7 p.m.
Andalusia’s Lexius Bradley and Demetrius Reed were both at practice this week. Seymore said Reed is back at full speed, but had to limit Bradley’s action at practice. “Both guys plan on playing this week,” he said. “Ken Chambers has the flu and has been out the majority of the week.”
In addition, Jerome Matthews had an MRI Wednesday morning on his knee and Seymore said the coaching staff has had to make a few minor adjustments on the team.