Andalusia, Fairhope to spar on gridiron

Published 12:02 am Friday, November 1, 2013

Andalusia will host a similar opponent in Fairhope tonight to close out the regular season at its Municipal Stadium.

The Bulldogs and Pirates enter the contest as the runner up in their respective regions. FHS competed in Class 6A, Region 1, while AHS played in Class 4A, Region 1.

Fairhope (7-2) runs the option offense just like Andalusia.

“It’s two quality football teams going head to head,” AHS head football coach Brian Seymore said. “We’ve still got to play the game, and I think it’s another opportunity for us to go out there and play against another high quality program that’s going to make us earn everything we get.”

Fairhope’s Dave Kirksey and Earnest Andrews at running back, and Greg Jackson at quarterback lead the Pirates’ offensive attack.

“They’re both talented backs,” Seymore said. “They do a good job of getting the ball to them in different ways. We’ve got to make sure we’re doing a good job of just taking care of the option responsibilities.”

Andrews is the younger brother of Nate, who is playing at Florida State University. The Bulldogs know too well what Nate did last season as he led the Pirates in throwing four touchdown passes in rout to a 29-14 win.

“You’ve got to tackle in space,” Seymore said. “Our biggest focus this week is the back end (secondary) and trying to limit the explosive plays.

“We had a bunch of breakdowns last week,” he said.

Last week, AHS defeated Escambia County 48-32, but the visiting Blue Devils had a late rally near the end of the game, where its quarterback made some good throws to receivers who went up and made good catches.

Seymore said that was just a lack of execution on the team’s part and doesn’t need to be repeated this week.

“They did a good job and we didn’t,” he said. “That’s definitely a concern.”

The weather forecast calls for rain for most of the day today, with it going out by kick off tonight.

Another concern, especially for special teams, is the field conditions, Seymore said.

“The footing for the kickers, and players staying in their lanes could get dicy,” he said. “We worked on special teams and made sure that we cover what needs to be covered this week. It’s always a concern because you’ve got to be sound on special teams to win on any busted plays.”

AHS will host Childersburg in the first round of the state playoffs next week. The Bulldogs have been using practices for the past couple weeks to get ready for the game against CHS. FHS is also in the playoffs and will host Pelham in the first round.

“I look at (tonight’s game) as an opportunity to get better,” Seymore said. “All of our non-region games — Straughn and Opp — are in the playoffs.

“This just shows you played tough non-region games,” he said. “That’s something we look at and try to get better with. This is all working toward the first round of the state playoffs.”

Chase Helms will be out of this week’s game after suffering a hip flex strain on Tuesday at practice, Seymore said. Helms will be good to go for next week.

Additionally, James Montgomery (high ankle sprain) will be back in action tonight at cornerback.

Kick off tonight is at 7.