‘Do or die’ time for AHS

Published 12:04 am Friday, October 26, 2012

Andalusia linebackers coach Matt Johnson looks on as his players perform a maneuvering drill Wednesday afternoon. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Do or die time.

Win or go home.

Those two phrases describe Andalusia’s situation this week as it travels to face Escambia County tonight in a key region game in Atmore.

The Bulldogs need to win tonight to earn a berth to play in the Class 4A state playoffs. A win tonight would give AHS the fourth seed going into the first round.

To prepare for the game, Bulldogs head football coach Brian Seymore said the team is treating it as if it were a “playoff game.”

“I think our kids understand the magnitude of the game and what’s at stake,” Seymore said. “We’ve had a good week at practice so far. We just want to build off of what we did last week and just try to get better.”

Last week, Andalusia played a complete team game despite falling to UMS-Wright 21-12.

Seymore said after the game that he thought it was the best game the Bulldogs had played all season.

“I felt like we played pretty solid on both sides of the ball,” he said.

ECHS is riding a two-game win streak heading into tonight’s game. Like the Bulldogs, the Blue Devils are 3-3 in Class 4A, Region 1. Overall, AHS is 5-3, while ECHS is 3-5.

Andalusia has outscored its opponents 151-90 in region play, compared to Escambia County’s 111-161.

“Coach Lev Holly is in his first year there, and he’s trying to implement what he likes to do offensively and defensively,” Seymore said. “They’ve gotten better every week. They’ve started to jell as a football team.

The last time Andalusia faced Escambia County was in the first round of the 2010 playoffs. ECHS won 19-6, according to The Star-News’ archives.

The Blue Devils have junior quarterback Christopher Johnson, who was a freshman during that playoff contest, is a quality player, Seymore said.

“I know what kind of a caliber quarterback (Johnson) is,” the coach said. “He’s the key to their offense. He can throw and run. What concerns me more is his abilty to keep plays alive and scrambling.”

Offensively this week, Seymore said the Bulldogs have to have a good balance of run and pass. On defense, keeping the Blue Devils “off balance” is a must, he said.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Bulldogs split into different offensive and defensive groups like they normally do at practice, and were working on the fundamentals of the game.

Fundamentals are crucial when the game could get tough, Seymore said.

“We have to be funadmentally sound in all aspects of our offense to make it execute properly,” he said. “I think if we do that, then I think we’ll be fine.”

Seymore said his offensive line has gotten better as the season progresses and this week’s game provides another “opportunity” to play another good opponent.

“We’ve got to take care of what’s between the lines because I told our kids I feel like we’re one of the better 5-3 teams in the state in Class 4A,” Seymore said. “I just feel like if we could find a way to get in playoffs, we’ll be a tough match up to play against.”

Kick off at Hubert Barnes Field in Atmore tonight is at 7.