Defensive aggression

Published 12:01 am Friday, August 29, 2014

0829 spt-Burkhardt, Dorsey

Andalusia’s Brayden Burkhardt (right) hands off to Derrick Dorsey during last week’s loss to T.R. Miller. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

AHS to face UMS-Wright tonight in Mobile

Another week.

Another opportunity.

Andalusia will get the chance to iron out some wrinkles against second-ranked UMS-Wright tonight in Mobile.

Last week, AHS suffered a bitter 38-15 loss to now Class 3A No. 2 T.R. Miller. TRM outscored the good guys, 21-0, in the second half.

During the entire contest, the Tigers had the upper hand at the line of scrimmage, which is an area AHS focused on this week at practice.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity of playing UMS because you get another opportunity to go out there and hopefully correct some of those things you came up short on last week,” AHS head football coach Brian Seymore said. “The line of scrimmage battle was a definite concern. We’ve got to do a better job up front on the offensive and defensive line.”

Another area of concern last week was Andalusia’s defensive play, Seymore said.

“Defensively, I think we were exposed everywhere,” he said. “It starts way before that for us. We were misaligned a lot of times on the front. The credit goes to them. They did a good job of adjusting and that’s something we definitely worked on this week.”

The big keys for the defense this week are to play aggressive and to bring the fight to UMS, Seymore said.

Offensively for UMS-Wright, the Mobile Bulldogs have senior tailback Troy Dixon. Dixon is a Samford baseball commit.

Dixon only requires 1,143 yards this season to hold the school’s all-time rushing record, currently held by Chris Dismukes, who tallied 6,107 yards for his career.

“We’ve got to do a great job team-wise of tackling him,” Seymore said about Dixon. “Even against a quality team like McGill-Toolen last week, he made a few guys miss. We’re definitely going to have to gang-tackle him.”

At quarterback, UMS has sophomore Tanner Allen, is expected to take over for Gunner Roach.

Seymore said Allen reminds him a lot of former AHS quarterback Michael McCalman.

“He’s a speedy guy,” the coach said. “He’s got targets (Grant Barber at wide receiver and junior tight end Chauncey Callier).

“We want to try to keep him in the box as much as we can.”

After a team loss like last week, the focus has squarely been on getting better, Seymore said.

“For us, it’s a mental thing right now, but once we get in the game and start getting used to the feel of the game, maybe our kids will learn to relax a little bit,” he said.

Fortunately, Andalusia plays better in away games. AHS was 4-0 in away games last year.

“Maybe we’ll go down there and play a really good game,” he said. “We just need to play together as a team; that’s the main thing.”

Injury report: Andalusia offensive guard Ashton Elmore will be held out this week from action due to a high-ankle sprain. Seymore said he’s just being held out this week to not risk further damage and will be good to go next week.