County rivals to fight in epic battle

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 29, 2010

One team will play for bragging rights, and the other will be competing for a rival sweep.

Andalusia and Opp, county rivals, will meet for the 66th time in both schools’ history, where the current record stands at 31-31-3.

Last year, the Bulldogs and Bobcats met twice β€” once in the regular season, and the other in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs, when both teams were in the same classification.

Opp (4-5) advanced to the second round of the playoffs with a 21-16 win over the Bulldogs, where big plays by the Bobcats netted the win.

This season, the Bobcats did not earn a playoff berth in Class 3A.

“They’re definitely a good opponent,” AHS coach Brian Seymore said about Opp. “They’re well-coached, and they play sound fundamental football.”

Seymore said he has been impressed with Opp’s ability to use many different formations on offense, where they utilize a strong ground game behind running backs Richard Davis and Quadir Kincaid.

“They do a good job of running the football, and that’s our No. 1 goal is to stop the run,” Seymore said.

Davis has racked up 1,111 yards on 180 carries and scored 14 touchdowns this season. Kincaid has 450 yards on 73 carries and five touchdowns.

For tenth-ranked Andalusia, senior running back Derrick King and junior linebacker Jacard Townsend are players that OHS coach Jack Whigham said he’s concerned with this week.

“They’re outstanding players,” Whigham said. “If we let them loose, then they’re going to pick up big chunks of yardage.

“If we let them in the open field, then it’s going to be a long night for us,” he said.

Last week, Townsend and King scored three of Andalusia’s touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ 41-26 win over Headland. Townsend scored two touchdowns in the game.

In the win last week, Andalusia’s defense gave up the most points allowed all season on pass plays from Headland’s Jahwon Williams.

“We gave up too many big plays in the passing game last week,” Seymore said. “I was pretty happy with the rush defense.

“We’ve got to do a better job in deep coverage,” he said.

Seymore said at the beginning of this season, the game tonight was one that was considered to be important to the players.

“It’s a great opportunity for us because it’s a rival game,” he said. β€œIt’ll definitely be a hard-fought, well-played game.”

For Opp, this will be its last game of the 2010 season, and Whigham said they will be treating it as such.

“It’s the biggest game of the year for us,” he said. “They have a really, really quality team. It just looks like a well-coached fundamental football team.”

If Andalusia wins tonight, then it will own bragging rights over its county rivalries. The Bulldogs first rivalry win came against Straughn on Oct. 8, where they won 10-0 in region play.

“It’s very important for us,” Seymore said. “I think it’s very important for our players and staff. The kids are looking forward to that opportunity.”

Kickoff in Andalusia is at 7 p.m.

Injury update:

Seymore said he allowed linebacker Ethan Jones a little practice time this week. In addition, Carlos Luckie’s status is also a big concern for Seymore because of his knee injury.