Published 12:02 am Friday, September 5, 2014

0905 spt-Brayden Burkhardt

Andalusia senior quarterback Brayden Burkhardt will start tonight after suffering a late first-half injury last week against UMS-Wright. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Andalusia, Trinity to fight tonight

Andalusia and Trinity Presbyterian will both be vying for a win tonight as they clash in Class 4A, Region 2 action in Montgomery.

The Bulldogs are coming off of a bitter 47-17 loss to No. 2 UMS-Wright, while the Wildcats are coming off of a 48-20 loss to top-ranked Leeds. In week one, AHS lost 38-15 to T.R. Miller, and Dale County beat TPA 48-12.

“We have both played very, very good competition,” AHS head football coach Brian Seymore said. “It hasn’t anything to do with it (the 0-2 starts). I think you’ll still have two solid football teams (tonight). I just think they have the same idea as us. We’re both looking for a win.”

Seymore added that he thinks both teams are making the necessary adjustments, which makes tonight much more important in the grand scheme of things.

The Wildcats have a good quarterback in Ben Jones. Jones is good at running the true-spread offense attack, where fans will see TPA throw the ball more than run, Seymore said.

“He rarely takes sacks,” Seymore said about Jones. “He’ll get his checks down. He’s a savvy player. He’s our biggest concern defensively. They’ve got a receiver, Robert Adams. Adams is their main receiver. He’s tall, athletic and has great speed. We’ve got to know where he’s at at all times. He’s very explosive.”

The Wildcats offense will be going up against a struggling Andalusia defense, which has allowed an average of 42.5 points per game this season.

Seymore said he’s moved some players around on that side of the ball, and got Ashton Elmore back on the defensive front for the game. Elmore has been out the last two weeks because of an ankle sprain.

“We’ve struggled against the run,” Seymore said. “When you try to load the box in the run, that’s going to lose some protection up there in the secondary. It’s definitely a concern.”

On Elmore, Seymore said he doesn’t know if he’s 100 percent, but “we’ve got to have him.”

“He’s an inside run stopper,” Seymore said. “He’s a larger frame in the middle. We’re hoping that he’ll help.”

The main key and focus this week for the Bulldogs offensively at practice has been to take care of the football. AHS is negative five on takeaways and giveaways in the last two games.

“You can’t win giving the ball away five more times than you’re taking away from the opponent,” Seymore said. “You can’t be successful like that. We’ve stressed that at practice.”

Slow starts have plagued Andalusia against TRM and UMS. Last week, UMS shot out to a 7-0 lead within the first 16 seconds of the game.

Seymore said it’s “imperative” the team get off to a good start this week.

“The last couple of games we got behind and we don’t really want to play from behind,” he said. “You want to get out and set the tone early. We want to have some good things to happen to us. Maybe some positive things will happen early and that’ll motivate our kids to play hard because that’s key.”

Injury report: AHS senior quarterback Brayden Burkhardt will start this week for the Bulldogs after suffering rib and a leg injury last week.

Seymore said Burkhardt has bruised ribs and will wear extra protection around them. On the leg, the coach said the doctors thought it was his ankle and then thought it was the fibula.

“The X-rays are negative,” he said. “He’s going to give it a go.”

Seymore said back up QB Taylor Griffin, who received plenty of repetitions at practice this week, will be ready just in case Burkhardt comes out of the game.