Bulldogs roll past ACA into round 2

Published 12:05 am Saturday, November 5, 2016

Zack Woods cuts up the field behind a block from Derrick McQueen.

Zack Woods cuts up the field behind a block from Derrick McQueen.

The No. 1-ranked Andalusia Bulldogs used a strong first half to knock off the Alabama Christian Academy Eagles 42-24 Friday night in Andalusia in the opening round of the Class 4A state playoffs.

Andalusia won the toss and elected to start the game with the ball.

Ethan Wilson connected with B.J. Anderson on the first play of the game for a 10-yard pickup and a Bulldog first down.

The Bulldogs picked up another first down on the second play when Jamal Hourel rushed the ball around the edge for 17 yards.

Andalusia continued to drive the ball down the field, but the Alabama Christian defense wound up forcing the Bulldogs into a fourth-and-long play from the Alabama Christian 38-yard line.

The Bulldogs lined up in punt formation but as soon as Wilson received the snap he looked immediately for Anderson, who found himself all alone on the Bulldogs’ sideline.

B.J. Anderson hauls in a touchdown pass from Ethan Wilson.

B.J. Anderson hauls in a touchdown pass from Ethan Wilson.

Wilson completed the pass to Anderson and then Anderson made a couple of moves on the sideline, broke a tackle and then raced down the field for a touchdown.

The Bulldogs added the extra point to go on top 7-0 with 9:32 left in the opening quarter.

Alabama Christian took over following the touchdown, but Andalusia’s defense forced the Eagles to punt after just three plays.

Antonio Gurley made a big stop on the first play and then Ridge Riley and Riley Graham teamed up to bring down the Alabama Christian quarterback in the back field for sack.

Hourel busted loose for 15 yards on the Bulldogs next play, and then two plays later Zack Woods took a handoff 17 yards for another Andalusia touchdown.

The extra point gave the Bulldogs a 14-0 lead with 7:17 left in the first quarter.

Andalusia’s defense went right back to work and forced another punt after just three plays from the Eagles.

The big stop on the drive came when Andrew Holmes wrapped up the Eagles’ quarterback for a big sack on third down.

Andalusia got another big run from Hourel to get the next drive started. A horse collar penalty on Alabama Christian moved the Bulldogs up an additional 15 yards.

After the penalty, Wilson found Anderson for a 20-yard pick up to set the Bulldogs up inside the Eagles’ 10-yard line.

Graham took the handoff on the first-and-goal play and carried the entire Eagles’ defense 7 yards to the end zone.  With 4:35 left in the first quarter, Andalusia was on top 21-0.

Riley Graham drags a pile of defenders across the goal line.

Riley Graham drags a pile of defenders across the goal line.

The Bulldog defense was stifling yet again on the next drive from Alabama Christian. Will Clark and Holmes put the Eagles’ quarterback under a lot of heat and forced him to just get rid of the ball to help force another punt following a three-and-out.

Woods picked up 27 yards on the Bulldogs’ next play, but Alabama Christian forced the Bulldogs to punt three plays later.

The Eagles picked up their first first down of the game on the next drive on a dump pass to the tight end.

Felix Johnson celebrates after picking up a sack.

Felix Johnson celebrates after picking up a sack.

On the Eagles’ next play, Felix Johnson came flying in off the edge and drilled the Alabama Christian quarterback for a sack.

Alabama Christian lined up to punt and the Eagles’ punter sent a low line drive down the field toward Andalusia’s Allan George. George picked up the ball around midfield made the first man miss, broke a tackle, cut back to his left behind blockers, broke another tackle, juked his way around a couple of players, burst through a tackle going down the sideline and refused to go down as he crossed the goal line for a score.

Alabama Christian got their best drive of the first half on the next series as they picked up a pair of first downs and crossed midfield for the first time.

The Bulldogs’ defense buckled down and forced the Eagles to punt.

Andalusia picked up a first down a reverse to Anderson that picked up 18 yards.

Hourel gave the Bulldogs another first down when he picked up 17 yards on the next play.

Hourel picked up another big run a few plays later, and Woods capped off the drive with a powerful 18-yard run. The Andalusia Bulldogs were on top 35-0 with 5:32 left before halftime.

Zack Woods scampers toward the end zone.

Zack Woods scampers toward the end zone.

Andalusia’s defense was strong again as they forced another three-and-out and punt from Alabama Christian.

Gurley made a huge hit in the backfield as the Eagles tried to run a reverse. Gurley wasn’t fooled and hammered the Eagle ball carrier for a 7-yard loss.

Hourel gave the Bulldogs a first down with a 20-yard run and then Wilson hit Anderson on a 12-yard quick slant to put the Bulldogs in the end zone.

With 2:30 left before halftime, Andalusia was on top 42-0.

The Bulldogs starters were pulled from the game at halftime and Andalusia went will all younger players in the second half.

Alabama Christian opened up the second half with a strong drive that ended with a field goal. Andalusia was still on top 42-3 with 6:15 left in the third quarter.

The Eagles got an interception on the Bulldogs’ next drive and then needed just 22 yards to get the ball into the end zone.  The extra point left the Eagles trailing 42-10.

After the Eagles forced a punt from the Bulldogs, Alabama Christian looked to be driving down the field again, but Roosevelt Weaver made an outstanding one-handed grab for a Bulldog interception.

The Bulldogs drove down the field behind strong runs from Elijah McClain and Cameo Stoudemire to get Andalusia deep into Eagle territory.  The Eagles forced the Bulldogs into a field goal attempt, but the young Bulldog kicker just got under the kick and left it short.

Alabama Christian then drove down the field and added a score to make it 42-16 with 6:57 left in the game.

Alabama Christian forced the Bulldogs into a punting situation on the next drive, but the snap went over the Andalusia punters head and the Eagles fell on the ball in the end zone for a score. With 4:50 remaining in the game, Andalusia was on top 42-24.

It looked like it was going to be a repeat scenario on the following Andalusia drive as the Bulldogs had another high snap on a punt attempt. Alabama Christian took over possession on the Andalusia 1-yard line.

J.W. Jones gets an interception to seal the Bulldog win.

J.W. Jones gets an interception to seal the Bulldog win.

The Bulldog youngsters ramped up their efforts and pushed the Eagles back a few yards before Andalusia’s J.W. Jones came up with an interception at the goal line to thwart the Alabama Christian scoring attempt.

The Bulldogs were able to take a knee and run out the remainder of the clock.

“I was very pleased with the way that our No. 1s played in the first half,” Andalusia head coach Trent Taylor said. “I was pleased with the way the whole team played in the first half. I thought we had a great week at practice and really showed tonight. We actually have been dealing with a lot of sickness today from some starters, but they were able to go out there tonight and gut it out.”

With the win, the Bulldogs move on to the second round of the state playoffs and will travel to Leeds next Friday to take on the Green Wave.