Gotta keep it up on defense

Published 12:02 am Friday, September 12, 2014

0912 spt-Griffin, Hourel

Andalusia backup quarterback Taylor Griffin (15) and running back Jamal Hourel (5) play during the Bulldogs’ 33-15 win over Trinity Presbyterian last week. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Andalusia to play against Ashford Yellow Jackets tonight

Andalusia’s defense is looking to try and mirror last week’s second-half effort tonight as the Bulldogs pay a visit to Ashford.

The Bulldogs will face a 3-0 Yellow Jackets football team loaded with seniors that runs the old Wing-T offense.

AHS defeated Trinity Presbyterian 33-15 last Friday in Montgomery in a game where the good guys trailed 7-6 at halftime. The Bulldogs held Trinity to just eight points in the second half.

“I hope it carries over and that our kids play solid on defense,” Bulldogs head football coach Brian Seymore said. “It translates to getting off blocks and tackling well in space. Everybody’s got to run to the football. We’ve got to do a good job of getting multiple people to the football.”

Ashford runs a shot gun variation type of the Wing-T. Leading the charge on the ground for the Yellow Jackets are running backs Devon Murry and Beonta Thomas.

“He’s a big guy,” Seymore said about Murry. “They both definitely are good players, both physical runners. We’ve got to do a good job making sure to get to the football. There is a lot of misdirection involved in the Wing-T. We’ve got to do a good job of reading our keys, and playing assignment football defensively.”

Ashford quarterback Hayden Harrison will be seen running the football more than throwing.

Seymore said Harrison does a good job of managing the offense.

“He does a good job executing their offense, managing the game and getting the ball to their playmakers,” the coach said.

Because the Wing-T offense involves a lot of misdirection, one would think that game film would indicate where each running back runs, either on the right, left or down the middle.

Seymore said there’s no such thing with Ashford.

“We looked at that a little bit,” he said. “You think they’ve got some tells, and you hope they have some tells. They do a really good job of running the ball to play action and mixing formations. That’s a credit to the coaching staff.”

Recently, Andalusia (1-2, 1-0 in Class 4A, Region 2) has been experiencing the injury bug as its starting quarterback and running back will not be playing in this week’s game.

Brayden Burkhardt, at quarterback, suffered a high ankle sprain during last week’s win at Trinity, but got banged up the week before at UMS-Wright. Derrick Dorsey, at running back, also has a high ankle sprain he suffered early last week at practice.

Bulldogs junior Taylor Griffin will start in Burkhardt’s spot, while sophomore Jamal Hourel will get his second start at fullback.

Seymore said they aren’t changing anything scheme wise, but will cater to Griffin’s strengths.

“We’ve got to be careful to limit the touches (run plays) of our quarterbacks,” he said. “We can’t afford to get any more injuries at quarterback. Taylor’s strength is throwing the football. Offensively, we’re going to try to establish the run game. If they load the box up, we’ve got to have the ability to throw the ball down the field.

“Our offensive guys, everybody rallies around Taylor and Jamal because I think they are capable of leading the offense,” he said.

Kick off tonight is at 7.