RIVALRY WEEK EXCITEMENT: Andy, Opp prepare for annual gridiron battle

Published 12:05 am Thursday, September 22, 2016

Andalusia quarterback Ethan Wilson and Opp quarterback each look to lead their team to victory in Friday night’s rivalry clash.

Andalusia quarterback Ethan Wilson and Opp quarterback each look to lead their team to victory in Friday night’s rivalry clash.

0922-spt-oppChannell-Lee Stadium in Opp will be the site of Friday night’s cross-county battle between the Class 4A No. 4-ranked Andalusia Bulldogs and the Class 3A No. 3-ranked Bobcats, and both coaches expect there to be a great a football game.

“We aren’t really even looking at this from a rivalry standpoint,” Opp head coach Brent Hill said. “This is going to be a fun and exciting opportunity for us to go up against a highly-talented team. This game is a going to be a really good measuring stick to see where we are at and where we need to improve.”

Andalusia head coach Trent Taylor similar statements about the game.

“I don’t think we have really addressed the rivalry all week,” Taylor said. “The kids know that Opp is going to be a very quality opponent. We know coming in that this is going to be playoff-type atmosphere.”

Taylor also said that the kids understand the quality of team that they are going up against.

“Opp is probably going to be the toughest team that we have played all season, and that includes Brooks and UMS-Wright,” Taylor said. “They have some really good athletes. It’s not just the quality of athletes they have, but also the quantity of athletes. That makes it very tough when deciding what we are going to try and defend against.”

The Bobcats are also aware of the talent that they will be up against, Hill said.

“Andalusia is very talented team and you can tell that they are well coached,” Hill said. “They have a solid quarterback, strong offensive line, and they have two good running backs in Jamal (Hourel) and Zack (Woods). It’s going to be a chess match. We have to look at the match ups and see what we might be able to take advantage.”

Hill said that he expects Friday’s game to be a good one.

“There are going to be two very talented football teams on the field Friday night,” Hill said. “It’s going to be a chess match on both sides of the ball. It’s should be a great high school football game, and we are really excited to see where we are as a football team.”

For the Bulldogs, Taylor said that tackling would be the key.

“We have to do a good job tackling,” Taylor said. “We can’t go in their looking to make a knockout blow. We just have make sure we wrap up and bring them to the ground. They like to get players in space, which makes it harder to tackle, and that’s where they have really hurt people this year. We have to be assignment conscious and know where our help is coming from.”

Hill said that the Bobcats must focus on containing Andalusia’s explosive offense.

“They are very explosive on offense,” Hill said. “We have to focus on not giving up many big plays. We are going to have to be physical on the edge and take advantage of what we get.”

Kickoff between the Bobcats and the Bulldogs will be at 7 p.m., Friday at Opp’s Channell-Lee Stadium.