Blue, Boutwell lead teams in ‘trench’

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, October 22, 2014

1022 spt-trenches

Left: Straughn’s Jordin Boutwell (71) congratulates Tigers quarterback Rollin Kinsaul for scoring a touchdown against Ashford. Right: Austin Blue poses for a photo. | Photos by Andrew Garner/Star-News

Andalusia and Straughn’s offensive and defensive fronts will line up and battle in the trenches Friday night at Tigers Stadium.

The Bulldogs and Tigers will meet for the 14th time in the schools’ short history. AHS owns a 10-3 advantage.

Throughout the season both teams have gotten better. Andalusia has bucked up on defense and is currently on a four-game win streak. No. 2 SHS improved to 7-1 on the season after a 47-8 thrashing over Bullock County.

Andalusia senior defensive end Austin Blue and Straughn senior center Jordin Boutwell say they are excited about the game.

For the Bulldogs, it’s a must-win game because there are playoff implications to go along with it. Straughn is battling for the No. 2 seed and a right to host the first round.

“We got to win to get in the playoffs,” Blue said. “We’ve just got to have a good week of practice, and everybody has got to be focused. Our seniors have got to keep leading the younger players.”

Boutwell also said that the coaches have stressed staying focused and working hard as the big keys for this week.

“It’s going to be a good one,” Boutwell said. “It’s going to be hard fought.”

Andalusia head football coach Brian Seymore said that Blue has made a significant “impact” on the team this season.

Blue said how he plays on the field comes “natural.”

In fact, it’s been that way since he started playing football in the city’s youth league as a termite.

“If you go hard at practice and put it toward the game, that’s pretty much it,” Blue said.

Additionally, Blue’s uncle, Caesar, played at AHS as a fullback.

This is Boutwell’s first year at playing center. He said the transition from playing guard and tackle hasn’t been that bad.

“It’s different,” Boutwell said. “I like playing center.”

Boutwell said the biggest obstacle a center must overcome, other than getting the snap down, is blocking for the quarterback. In this case, it’s SHS senior Rollin Kinsaul.

“Snapping is big part of it,” he said. “You’ve got to get the snap. You’ve got to get the block.”

The senior center said it’s helpful to have Kinsaul leading the offense as he is a good influence on the players.

“We just try to protect him as much as we can,” Boutwell said.

As the season has gone along, the Bulldogs’ defensive game plan has been made more simple.

Blue said that a big key on the defense this year has been the defensive line.

“To me, from last year, the defensive line stepped up,” Blue said. “We didn’t have any choice. Our linebackers are young. They’re learning as we go. They’re getting better. Our secondary is getting better as long as the defensive line keeps stepping up. Since most of us are seniors, we’re stepping up and getting in the quarterback’s face.”

While the move to center was fine for Boutwell, the Tigers did lose a lot of experience on the offensive front.

Boutwell said he believes the season has gone well.

“I think we’re pretty close as a team,” he said. “We work well together.”

Blue is the son of James and Sharena Blue of Andalusia. Boutwell is the son of Glenn and Lynn Boutwell of Gantt.