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Andy looks to clinch playoff spot

Jamal Hourel and the Andalusia offensive line have racked up a pile of yardage through seven games.

Jamal Hourel and the Andalusia offensive line have racked up a pile of yardage through seven games.

The Andalusia Bulldogs (6-1, 4-0) aren’t taking Headland (2-4, 1-3) lightly, because despite their record the Rams have Class 4A, Region 2’s top defense.

“They have are really struggling right now, but the thing that jumps out at you is that defense,” Bulldogs’ head coach Trent Taylor said. “They don’t give up many points, and they have shut down some good teams.”

The Rams’ defense will be put to the test, though, when they go up against the region’s top offense in the Bulldogs. Coming into the game Headland has scored 97 points, but have only given up a league-leading 97 points against them.

Andalusia’s offense tops the Region 2 in scoring with 215 points on the season, and the Andalusia defense ranks second in the region by only just 116 points.

This will be the fourth time the two teams have clashed on the gridiron, with Andalusia leading the series 3-0. Last season, the Bulldogs defeated the Rams 49-6.

Coming into the contest, the Bulldogs can wrap up a guaranteed playoff spot with a win over Headland. The Bulldogs are currently in first place in Region 2 and have won five-straight games.

“They are a lot like us, in that they have a new coach that came later in the year,” Taylor said. “I’m sure he brought in a lot of new coaches with him and it’s hard to tell how the players respond to that. They are heading in the right direction. I’m impressed with how hard they play, and they are huge on the offensive and defensive line. They are a team that you know will eventually begin to click. We just hope they don’t start clicking until after Friday night.”

Headland hasn’t found a way to get in the win column since beating Bullock County in their first region game of the season.

In the past, Headland has been a pass heavy team, but Taylor said that this season the Rams want to establish the run.

“Over the past several years, I think they would just run the ball once in awhile just to take a break from passing, but from what we have seen on film, they come out wanting to establish the run,” Taylor said. “Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t scored to throw it, but they seem to be geared more to running this season.”

Taylor said that his Bulldogs would continue to do what they have done all season on offense, and need to continue to focus on themselves.

“At this point in the year, we have to focus on us,” Taylor said. “I felt like last week we didn’t have a very good week of practice, but I have been so pleased with how the guys have approached practice this week.”

Leading the Bulldogs’ offense so far this season is the Bulldogs physical offensive line and junior running back Jamal Hourel. Through seven games, Hourel has rushed 125 times for 1,392 yards and 17 touchdowns. Hourel is averaging a staggering 198.9 yards a game.

Taylor Griffin has also been a key feature of the Bulldogs’ offensive attack. Griffin has picked up 233 yards rushing and three touchdowns, and has also gone 24-for-56 passing for 346 yards and a score.

B.J. Anderson leads the Bulldogs in receiving yard with 131 yards on nine catches. Jaden Brown has six catches for 102 yards and Derrick McQueen has two catches for 94 yards and a touchdown.

Last week, the Bulldogs and a couple of players out with injuries and a stomach virus, but Taylor said that everyone should be back in action this week.

“We are really good health wise,” Taylor said. “There has been a bit of a stomach bug going around this week and last week, but we are getting over that. James (Montgomery) and Trevor (Parker) have both been able to get back to practice after missing last week because of injuries. As far as football injuries, we are pretty healthy for this point in the season.”

Kickoff between the Bulldogs and the Rams will be at 7 p.m., in at Andalusia Municipal Stadium.