Published 12:52 am Saturday, November 9, 2013

Andalusia's Trevor Parker (2) struggles for yardage Friday night. The Bulldogs fell 34-33 in overtime to Childersburg in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Andalusia’s Trevor Parker (2) struggles for yardage Friday night. The Bulldogs fell 34-33 in overtime to Childersburg in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Andalusia falls 34-33 to Childersburg in OT

Andalusia suffered a 34-33 overtime loss to Childersburg Friday night in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs at its Municipal Stadium.

The Bulldogs trailed throughout the majority of the game, and tied the contest up after a spectacular 91-yard drive in the fourth quarter to force the needed extra period.

AHS won the toss in OT, and elected to go on defense first. In OT, teams have to start from the 10 yard line and both have an opportunity to score either a touchdown or field goal.

Childersburg couldn’t get anywhere on its first possession. On fourth down, AHS called a timeout, thinking it had two in the extra period.

The Tigers would then go on to score on a 5-yard pass from Zach Lightsey to Hunter McCain. With the successful PAT, CHS led 34-27.

AHS came back two plays later, where Bulldog junior running back Derrick Dorsey punched it in from the 1.

Instead of going for the PAT, the Bulldogs decided to go for two.

AHS junior quarterback Brayden Burkhardt — who was a key player in the 91-yard drive — rolled to his left and found an open Daniel Henderson in the end zone, but the ball fell out of the senior’s hands for an unsuccessful 2-point conversion.

“It’s very disappointing,” AHS head football coach Brian Seymore said. “I don’t know. I just — I don’t know what happened in overtime. I looked up at my players and they said the same thing. We thought we really had two timeouts.”

Seymore said he thought he had one after the TD in OT.

“I just put our team in a bad situation,” he said. “That was my fault. We had a couple chances there at the end. We fought back and showed a lot of heart; a lot of resolve; a lot of character.

“We had a tough first half, but I knew they would put the effort in to come back and give us a chance to win this ball game,” he said. “We had that chance; we just didn’t capitalize.”

With this loss, the Bulldogs are now 0-5 in the first round of the playoffs, and finish the season with a 8-3 record.

Trailing 27-21, Andalusia drove 91 yards in 2 minutes, 24 seconds. The drive was eclipsed on a 24-yard laser to Henderson, who had to leap in the air for the grab. From there, Burkhardt, who had rushes of 20, 15 and 5 yards on the game-tying drive, scampered in from the 2 with 39 seconds left.

A series of three false start penalties brought the ball back to the 3, where Henderson tried for the PAT. However, a CHS player got his fingers on it and the ball was tipped away.

The Tigers kneed the ball to go into the overtime period.

The first half wasn’t a good one for the Bulldogs as both of their quarterbacks — Burkhardt and Michael McCalman — threw two interceptions apiece.

CHS got on board early and took a 14-0 lead within the first seven minutes of the ball game.

Lightsey hit Justin Baker from 21 yards, and Kendrius Calhoun ran a 53-yarder to the house to give the Tigers their big advantage with 5:17 left in the first quarter.

Later in the first quarter, Dorsey scored from the CHS 3 with 18.3 seconds left to cut the game to 14-7 with the successful PAT.

Both teams traded possessions and turnovers in the next few series.

Calhoun, who dominated the line of scrimmage all night with his physical brand of play, found pay dirt from 21 yards with 2:01 left in the first half. With the good PAT, the Tigers led 21-7.

The Bulldogs will be graduating 10 seniors in May.

Seymore said this was a special group to coach.

“I’ve got special memories of these seniors,” he said. “They are a very good group of young men with high character and filled with integrity. They do the right things. I’m proud to say that I coached them.”

Andalusia showed some on its second possession of the second half when Burkhardt found McCalman for a 9-yard TD strike with 5:27 left in the third quarter to cut the lead to 21-14.

On Childersburg’s next possession, Calhoun, who finished with 188 yards on 22 carries and three touchdowns, found the end zone again from 51 yards, and the Tigers led 27-14.

The Bulldogs employed an up-tempo style offense for their next possession and it worked.

Five run plays, a pass play to McCalman — who had five receptions for 50 yards — and a 5-yard gain by Dorsey put the ball at the CHS 20.

McCalman took over and rushed to eek the lead to 27-21 with 2:28 left in the third.

CHS drove to the Andalusia 7 on its next series, where it tried for a 25-yard field goal. The FG missed to keep the Bulldogs alive; however, they didn’t get any where on their next possession, being forced to punt.

AHS’s defense held the Tigers on their next possession to a three-and-out before the 91-yard drive.

After Andalusia had scored the touchdown to make it a 1-point game in OT, Seymore said he did consider kicking the PAT.

“Daniel, he missed one there (earlier in the fourth quarter),” the coach said. “We had opportunities on fourth down and gave up some big plays. (Lightsey) found a receiver in the back of the end zone (in OT). They got the PAT and we scored on the (second play). That’s when obviously, I made the mental mistake with the timeout.”

Dorsey led AHS with 148 yards on the ground on 14 carries and two touchdowns. Burkhardt went 8-of-18 with a TD in passing.

Seymore said he felt like he “let a lot of people down.”

“It’s a tough way to lose — this many first rounds,” he said. “As a coach, you feel like you’ve got to do more, you’ve got to do more. I put that solely on my back. That’s my responsibility. I’ll take it whole-heartedly.

“I just felt like I let a lot of people down,” he said. “That’s the way I feel. It’s going to take a while to get over it.”