• 81°

Bulldogs ready for challenge

Andalusia's Brandon Lane gains yardage during last week's contest against Bullock County. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Andalusia coach Brian Seymore said he knows the match up at home tonight against T.R. Miller will provide a good “measuring stick” for the team leading into the second half of the season.

“The challenge is out there,” Seymore said. “I think both teams will come, and I think both teams will definitely play hard.

“We’re looking forward to playing not only a very quality team, but it’s a great measuring stick to where you are going into the second half of the season,” he said. “Especially coming into these region games against Hillcrest-Evergreen, Straughn and Ashford.”

T.R. Miller had a rough start to its season, losing against county rival Escambia County, and the region opener against Bayside Academy. Then, the Tigers picked themselves up and defeated Excel 64-7 in week three, and Montgomery Academy 46-0 last week to even their record at 2-2 overall, and 2-1 in Class 3A, Region 1.

“T.R. Miller’s 2-2, but that’s really not any indication of what kind of football team they’ve got,” Seymore said. “I think in the end, they’ll be one of the teams coming out of the South in the Super 6 Finals. To me, it starts with (T.R. Miller head) coach (Jamie) Riggs. They’ve got a great tradition, and those kids expect to win.”

Three of those kids, senior quarterback Wil Riggs (coach Riggs’ son), senior running back/defensive back Anthony Herbert and freshman Eric Maye provide the offense for the Tigers, and are players that concern Seymore.

Riggs was injured in the season opener, and played week two with a broken thumb that required surgery. He is 23-of-49 for 297 yards and has two touchdowns and one interception.

On the ground, Herbert has scored 12 touchdowns, and has 65 carries for 382 yards. He also has nine receptions for 109 yards and one touchdown.

Maye has 25 carries for 178 yards and one touchdown.

They run multiple formations, and they run multiple motions,” Seymore said. “It really starts with Wil Riggs, he’s been banged up a little bit, but you can tell the difference when he’s in the game,” he said. “He’s got a lot of football savvy, and he’s the key.

“I think the other key is the tailback they’ve got in Anthony Herbert,” he said. “He’s their go-to man, no doubt. No matter what formation they’re in, they try to get the ball to his hands. He’s an excellent athlete. He can work in space, and he’s a physical runner. He’s the kind of guy you want on offense. We’ve got to do a good job of containing him, always knowing where he’s at because they run so many different formations.”

Seymore said the defensive plan for his Bulldogs (4-0, 3-0 in Class 4A, Region 2) is mainly concentrated on tackling. T.R. Miller has had a good defensive plan because it has only allowed 69 points so far this season.

“Tackling is the main key,” he said. “I think tackling and making sure we play good assignment football on defense are the keys. You can’t roll assignments.”

As far as Andalusia’s offense tonight, Seymore said they will keep doing what has been successful this season — getting the ball in senior running back Derrick King’s hands and try to get ahead early.

In addition, after a two-game road stretch, Seymore said he is happy to be back in front of the home crowd.

“I’m excited to be back in front of our home crowd to play in our own stadium,” he said. “There’s a lot of positive atmosphere at Andalusia because of the success, and secondly it’s kind of been an old rivalry. I called coach Riggs when I got back and said, ‘coach we need to get you back on the schedule,’ because we knew it would be a great game and a great atmosphere.”

Kickoff in Andalusia is at 7 p.m.

Injury update:

The decision to play Andalusia sophomore runnning back Rafeal Sims will come at game time tonight. Sims received a deep bone bruise in the Alabama Christian Academy game in week two.

Seymore said Sims has a doctor’s appointment early this morning to see if he “can be released to play.”

Other than Sims, sophomore linebacker Ethan Jones has undergone lateral meniscus surgery, and as of right now, he’s out but Seymore said he doesn’t know the time he’ll be on the sidelines.

“We hope to get him back before the end of the year,” he said.