Bulldogs knock off undefeated Bobcats on road

Published 12:41 am Saturday, September 24, 2016

Andalusia’s Allen George goes fully extended to knock away an Opp pass. George had two interceptions in the Bulldog’s 37-14 win over Opp. Josh Dutton/Star-News

Andalusia’s Allen George goes fully extended to knock away an Opp pass. George had two interceptions in the Bulldog’s 37-14 win over Opp.
Josh Dutton/Star-News

The Class 4A No. 4-ranked Andalusia Bulldogs used a strong second half to knock off the Class 3A No. 3-ranked Opp Bobcats 37-14 Friday night at Channell-Lee Stadium in Opp.

“Our defense did exactly what we challenged them to do at halftime, and that was to not let them score anymore,” Andalusia head coach Trent Taylor said. “Opp has some tremendous players and you just can’t hold them at bay very long. I thought we threw the ball pretty well tonight, and once the offensive line took over we were able to control the game a little more.”

Andalusia got the ball to start the game and quickly drove down the field to take an early lead.

Facing a third-and-eight, Andalusia senior running back Jamal Hourel broke around left edge for 14 yards and Bulldog first down.

A few plays later, the Bulldogs faced a third-and-26, and quarterback Ethan Wilson unloaded on deep pass to Derrick McQueen for a 53-yard touchdown pass and catch.

McQueen out jumped the Bobcats defender for the ball and then out ran another defender to the end zone. Kiki Wain added the extra point to give Andalusia a 7-0 lead with 9:09 left in the opening quarter.

The Bobcats searched for yards through in the air on their first possession of the game, but the Bulldog defense forced a punt after just three plays.

Hourel rushed for 8 yards on the Bulldogs first play of the possession, and then a reverse to B.J. Anderson netted 5 yards and an Andalusia first down.

The Bulldogs nearly converted on a third down play a few plays later when Wilson connected with a Sebaskian Stallworth for a 9-yard pick up.

Andalusia elected to go for it on fourth down, and Wilson rushed around the edge for 4-yard gain and another Bulldog first down.

Zack Woods helped picked up another Bulldog first down, and then got a 5-yard rush that gave the Bulldogs the ball on the Opp 3-yard line.

On fourth-and-inches from the Bobcat 3-yard line, Andalusia’s Antonio Gurley hopped over the pile and into the end zone for the score. The Bobcats blocked the extra point, but Andalusia led 13-0 with 2 minutes left in the first quarter.

The Bobcats weren’t going to let the game get out of hand and responded quickly to the Bulldog touchdown.

Bobcat quarterback Orlando Lacey rushed for 34 yards on big third-and-seven play to give Opp a first down inside Andalusia territory.

Lacey then tossed a 30-yard touchdown pass to Tye Lindsey. The Bulldogs snuffed out the two-point conversion attempt and lead 13-6 with 35.6 seconds left in the first quarter.

Andalusia started to drive the field on the following possession, but the Bobcats’ Hennis Washington made a great play to intercept a pass from Wilson and give Opp the ball back.

The Bulldog defense stepped up and forced the Bobcats to punt after three plays.

Andalusia’s Allen George caught a seam during the punt return and nearly returned the ball to the end zone. After George’s return, the Bulldogs took over on the Opp 15-yard line.

Three rushes later, and Woods found pay dirt from 5 yards out. Wain’s extra point put Andalusia on top 20-6 with 7:46 left in the first half.

The Bulldog defense appeared to force another three-and-out from the Bobcats, but Andalusia was called for roughing the kicker on the Opp punt attempt.

The Bobcats took advantage of the flag, and Washington scampered in from 5 yards out on fourth-and-goal play. Lacey connected with Linsdey on the two-point conversion to leave the Bobcats trailing 20-14 with 5:40 left in the first half.

Opp’s defense picked up the pressure and forced the Bulldogs to punt after three plays.

Opp took over following the punt, but George made a great play to intercept a pass from Lacey to give the Bulldogs the ball back.

The Bulldogs didn’t need to go far for points, but the Bobcat defense went into bend don’t break mode.

Facing a third-and-goal, Wilson attempted to go to Anderson in the end zone, but Reggie Thompson broke perfectly on the ball and stepped in front of Anderson for the interception.

The Bobcats tried to get something going before half, but George and the Bulldogs had different plans. George stepped in front of anther Lacey pass for his second interception of the game.

Andalusia took over with 46 seconds left in the first half, and worked the ball down into Opp territory as time dwindled down.

With 6.8 seconds left in the second quarter, the Bulldogs’ Wain Yongkuma lined up for a 46-yard field goal attempt.

Opp called a timeout to ice the Bulldog kicker, but Yongkuma was laser focused. The kick from Yongkuma danced through the uprights as time expired to give the Bulldogs a 23-14 lead at halftime.

On the opening drive on the second half, the Bulldogs forced another three-and-out from the Bobcat offense. The Bobcats attempted a ruby-style punt, but Andalusia’s Will Clark burst through the line and pawed the ball just after it left the foot of Lacey. Clark then corralled the blocked punt to give the Bulldogs the ball on the Opp 20 yard line.

“The blocked punt after halftime was big momentum shifter for us,” Taylor said. “That was a big play and Wain’s (Yongkuma) field goal before the half really helped out.”

Three plays later, Gurley bulldozed his way into the end zone for a 6-yard score. The extra point gave Andalusia a 30-14 lead with 9:30 left in the third quarter.

After both teams exchanged punts, the Bulldogs added the final score of the game when Wilson hit Ke’Shun Townsend on a 7-yard touchdown pass and catch. Wain’s extra point put Andalusia on top 37-14 with 2:01 left in third quarter.

“Andalusia deserves the credit for this win,” Opp head coach Brent Hill said. “They are a very good team, and we took a good old-fashioned butt whooping tonight. We stayed in second-and-long situations all night and we made our defense stay on the field too much.  We know that this is the type of team that we are going to be facing in the playoffs, and this kind of lets us know where we are and what we need to work on.  I thought when we settled down we were able to move the ball, but we put ourselves in a deep hole and you aren’t going to beat a team like Andalusia when you do that. This one loss isn’t one where you say ‘Oh no, our season is over.’”