No doubt about playoff berth

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Andalusia's Deion Akins hands off to Jacard Townsend during the playoff game against Escambia County. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

At the beginning of this season, there wasn’t any doubt in Andalusia coach Brian Seymore’s mind that his team would make an appearance in the Class 4A state playoffs.

The Bulldogs are coming off a 9-2 season, where they lost to Escambia County 19-6 in the first round of the playoffs. Their other loss came to T.R. Miller in week No. 5.

“It’s odd that we lose to two teams from the same county in Escambia County Schools,” Seymore said on Tuesday. “They’ve got good programs and good football teams.”

Seymore said in the game against Escambia County, the team couldn’t move the ball, and had too many turnovers and penalties.

“I can’t take anything away from those two programs because they’re very solid football teams and are well-coached,” he said. “At times, you rarely reflect on the wins. It seems like you harp more on the losses, and the things you can do to correct those mistakes. That’s something we’re going to take into the off season.”

Andalusia — with its 18 seniors — started out on the right track with wins over Class 5A’s Carroll-Ozark, and region opponents Alabama Christian, St. James and Bullock County. After the 22-6 loss to T.R. Miller, Andalusia went on what Seymore said was a tough three-game region stretch against Hillcrest-Evergreen, Straughn and Ashford. The Bulldogs won all three of those games, and won the Class 4A, Region 2 title with a 21-20 victory over Ashford.

In the region title game, the Bulldogs came back from a 14-0 deficit, and scored 21 points compared to Ashford’s six. On a fourth-and-11 play, the Bulldogs completed a first down pass to senior running back Derrick King that led to the go-ahead and game winning score.

Seymore said he credits the Ashford game as one of the biggest this season.

“When we got down 14-0, our kids showed true character,” he said. “We kept our composure and came out at the end of the game.”

Talking about King, Seymore said the coaches didn’t know how he would stand up against a weekly beating each Friday night.

“Going into the season, there was nobody we really thought was going to stand out as far as every body else,” Seymore said. “We felt defensively we were going to be solid. We knew we had some good players defensively.

“We knew we had to get the ball to him, and it turned out he was the man and we got the ball in his hands and started making some plays,” he said.

If there is one thing Seymore said he can take away from this season and apply it to the 2011 season, he said it would have to be that the Bulldogs are an “established” team in Region 2.

“I feel like with our kids coming back that we’ll be a playoff team,” he said. “Our goal is to get in the playoffs and really excel. We’ve got to take the game at a higher level.

“Next year, you’re going to face another Region 1 opponent, no matter what,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if they’re the No. 4 or No. 2 seed, they’re giong to be good.”

Seymore added that by week 11, his team must play the best football.

“You’ve got to play your best football by the playoffs,” he said. “That’s what is going to be our focus, playing your best week 11.”