AHS rushes into 2nd round

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 13, 2015


1113-spt-AHSAndalusia (10-1) will head north tonight to take on the Dadeville Tigers (6-5) in the second round of the AHSAA Class 4A state playoffs.


The No. 4-ranked Bulldogs will be in for a tough match against the upset-minded Tigers.


Last week, Dadeville pulled off a minor upset, when the third-seeded Tigers defeated second-seeded Thomasville 54-53 in double-overtime in the opening round of the state playoffs.


Dadeville comes into the contest with a high-scoring offense that has scored 397 points in 11 games this season. Triple-threat junior Margarius Buchanan leads the quick scoring offense.


On the season, Buchanan has been a threat to score from whatever position he lines up in, whether he is at quarterback, wide receiver or running back. Around the midway point of the season, Buchanan had to switch from wide receiver to quarterback after their starter and Alabama commit, Shawn Jennings, sustained a season-ending injury. Buchanan has completed 66 passes for 1,241 yards and six touchdowns, rushed 189 times for 1,344 yards and 23 touchdowns and has caught nine passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns.


“We are going to have to carry some rope and see if we can’t lasso that quarterback,” Andalusia head coach Trent Taylor said. “He is an incredible athlete and he has a season’s worth of stats that he accumulated in half the season. They might be a better team with him at quarterback than the guy committed to Alabama as a defensive back. We are going to have be very aware of how they line up and where their athletes are at.”


Taylor said that Buchanan is one of the smarter high school quarterbacks that he has seen.


“The guy is a very smart quarterback,” Taylor said. “I’ve seen him scramble around behind the line and the whole time he has his eyes downfield looking for a receiver. He is always aware of the situation and the down and distance. I haven’t seen him once pull it down and try to run on something like third-and-15, but now on third-and-three he could very well pull it down run for the first down.”


Taylor said that at this point in the season it doesn’t matter who you play they are all going to be tough.


“At this point, in the second round of the playoffs,” Taylor said. “Every team you play is going to be very good. If we go out there and take care of our responsibilities, we will give ourselves a chance to win.”


It will be the team that limits mistakes and does the little things right that walks away with win Friday night, Taylor said.


“Whoever makes the least amount of mistakes will win,” Taylor said. “I know it’s cliché, but it’s things like turning the ball over and mental mistakes make the difference in the game.”


Taylor said that this week, the challenge for the defense would be going up against an athletic, high-scoring offense, and that the Bulldog offense must meet the challenge of controlling the ball and the clock to keep Dadeville’s offense off the field as much as possible.


Andalusia’s offense has been led by its driving offensive line and powerful running back Jamal Hourel. Hourel has rushed the ball 187 times for 1,972 yards and 29 touchdowns.


Sophomore Ethan Wilson and senior Taylor Griffin have split time at the quarterback position and have each chipped in to guide the Bulldogs’ offensive attack.


Wilson has passed for 415 yards and five touchdowns to go along with 252 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Griffin has 400 yards passing with two touchdowns and 255 yards rushing with three scores.


B.J. Anderson is leading receiver with 261 yards on 17 catches and one touchdown.


Derrick McQueen has five catches for 207 yards and three touchdowns.


“I feel like we will play well,” Taylor said. “We have had a great week of practice and the kids have been extremely focused on the task at hand. I’m really wanting this for our kids. They are starting to see what it feels like to get to this point. Especially, the seniors because of everything they have been through. It’s just a really exciting time for them.”


Kickoff between the Bulldogs and the Tigers will be at 7, tonight in Dadeville.