HOLD ‘EM, ANDY
Defense holds Clarke Co., ‘Dogs in playoffs
GROVE HILL — Andalusia scored 14 points in the last 5:24 of the fourth quarter and its defense held on late in a 28-20 region victory over Clarke County on Friday night at H.G. Prim Stadium.
The home-town Bulldogs started out a little flat in the first half, only putting together 53 yards of total offense in rout to a 7-7 halftime score.
Clarke County took advantage with some excellent pass plays to slice and dice the Andalusia defense from the start and throughout the game.
But, when it mattered, Andalusia made some crucial defensive stops after putting the game away in the fourth.
AHS head football coach Brian Seymore agreed that the win was a “flat” one.
“I thought we were somewhat flat,” Seymore said. “I guess that’s always a concern when you’re a coach. I felt like for the most part of the game, Clarke County outplayed us.
“That was pretty disappointing,” he said. “But, I’m proud of the kids. They showed a lot of heart and character again, and came back and found a way to win the football game.”
With this victory, sixth-ranked Andalusia improves to 6-0 overall, and 4-0 in Class 4A, Region 1. Last night’s win clinched a playoff berth for AHS.
Trailing 20-14 after CC scored to start the fourth quarter, Andalusia needed a big stop after not getting anywhere on its next offensive possession.
Clarke County’s Matthew Harvey, who picked AHS apart on outside run pass plays, was sacked in the back field for a 9-yard loss to force a punt that ended up at his own 37-yard line.
With 7:02 left in the game, Andalusia put together a four-play, 37-yard drive that was eclipsed by running back Derrick Dorsey’s 11-yard touchdown rush. With Daniel Henderson’s extra point, went ahead 21-20. Henderson finished the night 4-of-4 on PATs.
Like always, Andalusia had to rely on its defense to make plays on Clarke County’s next offensive drive. Harvey was sacked again in the back field to put the drive 4th-and-7 with 3:50 to go.
After a couple timeouts, Harvey decided to throw, but Andalusia’s Shun Curry was there to break up the pass play to force a turnover on downs.
On its next offensive series, which proved key in the game, AHS could’ve gotten a first down on a 4th-and-1 play and could’ve iced the game for a 1-point win, which Seymore was counting on but instead, Dorsey broke through a wall of defenders and scored on a 28-yarder to put the good guys ahead 28-20 after the successful PAT.
Seymore said the reason why he hoped his team wouldn’t have scored was because CCHS was out of timeouts.
“If we just get a first down right there, we could go into victory (formation) and won by one point,” the coach said. “By scoring the touchdown, it gave them another opportunity to come down the field and maybe get a touchdown and another 2-point conversion and send it into overtime.”
Seymore had good inside because Clarke County tried to make a play with about 7.9 seconds that saw Rodney Coats’ pass complete to Jeremy Ward. However, the clock ran out and AHS escaped with the win.
“I just hope the kids humbled themselves and realized that we play good competition week in and week out,” Seymore, who was a little frustrated, said. “We can’t look at records and rankings. That’s all irrelevant. You’re only as good as your last game.”
Clarke County went ahead 20-14 on a Xavier Burden 5-yard TD rush with 10:52 left in the fourth quarter.
Luckily, after a missed PAT — which Andalusia committed a foul on — and an unsuccessful 2-point conversion attempt put AHS back in business to set up the next two TDs by Dorsey.
At the 9:05 mark of the third quarter, AHS went ahead 14-7 on a 21-yard TD rush from quarterback Michael McCalman and Henderson’s second good PAT.
CCHS answered not 3 minutes later with a 5-yard TD rush Cornelius Coates and tied the game up with 5:51 left in the third.
On its first drive of the game, Clarke County at up plenty of clock and was led by Matthew Harvey on passes to the outside and long down field for significant gains. CCHS went up 7-0 with 4:56 left in the first quarter after taking the ball from Andalusia’s 29 after the home-town team fumbled the ball on a punt.
Harvey found Jacorey Snell from 4 yards on a pass to take the early lead.
It wasn’t until the 2:27 mark of the second quarter that Andalusia put any points on the board.
Harvey looked right and found a man, but Henderson leaped high to make the interception and returned it 44 yards to tie the game at 7-all.
Before Henderson’s pick six, fell defender Quinton Maddox got an interception to quieten the crowd at the stadium.
Seymore said he isn’t satisfied with where the team’s at right now.
“I just want our kids to understand that there’s a lot more out there,” he said. “We can’t be happy with where we’re at. There are a lot more goals I think we can accomplish.”
Andalusia starts a four-game home stretch next week against Wilcox Central.
Dorsey rushed for 91 yards on 12 carries and scored two TDs to lead AHS.