Bulldogs shine through storm; top Brooks in opener

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Antonio Gurley, Will Clark and a host of Bulldogs hammer the Brooks’ running back on Saturday night.

Antonio Gurley, Will Clark and a host of Bulldogs hammer the Brooks’ running back on Saturday night.

Despite two weather delays that lasted nearly two hours combined, the Andalusia Bulldogs surged to a 34-13 victory over the Brooks Lions Saturday night at Cramton Bowl for the AHSAA’s “Champion Challenge”.

Less than four minutes into the game, play was halted and the players were removed from the field because of lightning.

“A lot of people asked how we handled the delays,” Andalusia head coach  Trent Taylor said. “I think it had lot to do with this group of kids. We had it happen last year in Brewton. This wasn’t the first time we’ve had to deal with it, but it was different.”

Taylor said he was impressed with the way both teams kept their composure, despite the delays.

“Both teams had to deal with the same thing,” Taylor said. “I was proud of the way that we handled it. Brooks handled it well also. Both teams came out ready to play after the delays. That’s speaks a lot about the maturity level of both teams.”

After the first lightning delay was lifted, Andalusia struck quickly to give the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead.

Andalusia quarterback Ethan Wilson faked a handoff to Jamal Hourel, and then burst around the right edge. Wilson turned up the accelerator as he hit the edge and out ran the Lions’ defense for a 52-yard touchdown. Wain Yongkuma tacked on the extra point to put Andalusia.

Three plays later, another lightning delay kept the players off the field for a little more than an hour.

The Lions moved the ball down the Andalusia 1-yard line after the delay, but the Bulldog defense kept Brooks out of the end zone.

Riley Graham had a big fourth-down stop on the 2-yard line to give the Bulldogs a turnover on downs.

Andalusia’s offense then put on a clinic as they went 98 yards on 9 plays to go up 14-0.

The big blow on the drive came when Wilson connected with B.J. Anderson for a 52-yard gain that put Andalusia in Lions’ territory.

Antonio Gurley capped off the drive with a 2-yard score.

Andalusia went up 21-7 with 9 seconds left in the first half when Wilson found Anderson in the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown.

Brooks added a touchdown at the end of the third, but Andalusia responded with another Gurley touchdown on the opening drive of the fourth quarter.

Andalusia capped off the scoring midway through the fourth quarter when Hourel found pay dirt from 5 yards out.

Allen George and Roosevelt Weaver each had big interceptions to help give the Bulldogs the victory.

“I was impressed with the way our defense flew to the ball,” Taylor said. “We still need to work on breaking down and tackling, but that’s teachable.”

Wilson finished the game 13-for-20 passing for 189 yards and one touchdown. Wilson added 83 yards and one score on the ground.

Hourel led the team in rushing with 108 yards and one score.

Anderson had five catches for 85 yards and a score.

Graham led the team with 8 total tackles.

Andrew Holmes had three tackles for loss for a total of 17 yards.

Gurley had five tackles, a forced fumble and two rushing touchdowns for the Bulldogs.