Taking away the quarterback

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 10, 2010

Without hesitation, Andalusia head football coach Brian Seymore said Thursday the No. 1 goal in tonight’s region road game against St. James is to “take away” the quarterback.

“Our No. 1 job is to try and stop him,” Seymore said of St. James quarterback C.J. Duncan. “We’re going to take him away from their offense. That’s the No. 1 goal defensively.”

The Bulldogs (2-0, 1-0 in Class 4A, Region 2) are coming off a 14-point shut out over Alabama Christian last week.

St. James came to visit Straughn last Friday night, and fell 30-27.

Seymore said Duncan threw two touchdowns against Straughn last week, where he helped his team put 27 points on the board.

“We can’t let him get outside the pocket,” Seymore said. “Once we let him get outside the pocket, he has the ability to run the football, and he has the ability to throw the football down the field.”

On the defensive front this week, the Bulldogs will be throwing St. James different looks to try and get Duncan off balance, Seymore said.

In addition to Duncan, the Trojans have senior running back John Slayton Jr.

“He’s a solid runner,” Seymore said. “He’s a good compliment to the quarterback. He’s made some big runs for them. He’s made some big catches in the passing game.”

St. James runs the spread offense with a little bit of option as well.

“They want to keep the ball in the quarterback’s hands,” Seymore said. “We’ve got to play assignment football defensively. We want to get better as a team, offensively, defensively and special teams. We feel like if we do that, then we’ll be in pretty good shape.”

On the offensive side of the ball, Seymore said his team must put more points on the board to help relieve pressure on the defense.

“Our kids were physical, and we’ve played good at the point of the attack,” he said. “It’s getting to the point everybody’s putting nine or 10 guys in the box. We’ve got to do something, we’ve got to change the formations a little bit. “We’ve got to throw the ball to at least make folks respect the passing game some,” he said. “We definitely want to keep doing what we’re doing up front, being aggressive and being physical. We’ve definitely got to get some other guys involved in the passing game.”

In last week’s game against ACA, Andalusia’s Rafeal Sims injured his knee, and will not be playing this week. As of press time Thursday, his status is unknown.

“With Raf being out, we’re going to have to make adjustments on defense,” Seymore said. “(Quadree) Robertson, they went back and forth the whole time (last week). He’ll take the void.

“We’re going to make some adjusmtents with him being out,” he said. “Derrick (King) will still be our starter, and we’ll get Joe Flowers involved. It’s according to how the game plays out.”

Given the fact that his team only scored 14 points last week against ACA, Seymore said if the team sticks to the game play of “not turning the ball over” and “eliminating mistakes” then, “I think we’ll have a good opportunity to win (tonight).”

“I was very pleased with how our defense played last week,” he said. “We did a very good job when they got close to the goal line making plays and getting turnovers.

“This week, I think it revolves around their quarterback, C.J. Duncan,” he said. “He’s got good feet and has the ability to throw the ball down the field. He’s a good overall athlete. We’ve got to do a good job of protecting him.”

Kickoff tonight in Montgomery is at 7 p.m.