MAKING A PLAYOFF PUSH: The road to Tuscaloosa starts in Andalusia

Published 12:05 am Friday, November 10, 2017

The road to a Class 4A state championship begins tonight as the top-ranked Andalusia Bulldogs host Childersburg for the opening road of the AHSAA state playoffs.

“They are a very athletic team,” Andalusia head coach Trent Taylor said. “They are similar to other teams that I’ve seen from there. They kids that run well and they are big up front. This is the type of team that you want to play in the first round of the playoffs.”

This season, Childersburg (5-5) has gone through different looks on offense, and Taylor said the Bulldogs will have to be ready for anything.

“Early in the year they were a spread team,” Taylor said. “As they year has progressed, I’ve noticed that they are going under center more, but they aren’t going to be a team that is scared to throw the ball around. They aren’t a team that you can stack the box or key on the passing game. They are a lot like us in that they like to see what you give them and then they go about their business.”

Taylor said the Bulldogs wouldn’t do anything out of the ordinary when taking on the Childersburg offense.

“At this point in the year, you are pretty much locked into a lineup and what you are doing,” Taylor said. “We will play like we have played all year. There won’t be anything special.”

This week, Taylor said that the Bulldogs have had good practices.

“It was a really good week,” Taylor said. “The kids are ready to move onto the next chapter. We had a successful regular season, but now every one is 0-0. That can be a good thing or a bad thing. You just hope that you are playing your best football this time of year.”

Taylor said that the practice routine remanded the same heading into the first round of the playoffs.

“Just the normal stuff,” Taylor said when asked what the focus at practice was on this week. “We are just trying to stay sharp and the get the reps they need. Come Friday, you just want to make sure that the kids are fresh and ready to play.”

Like most games, Taylor said miscues would more than likely determine the outcome of the game.

“It really comes down to the team that makes the fewest penalties and turnovers,” Taylor said. “Special teams always plays a big part. If you play well in that area, you give yourself a good chance. The biggest thing in high school is turnovers. You have to be able to hold onto the ball and take advantage of turnovers on defense.”

Taylor said that the Bulldogs will be a near full-force tonight as injured players return to the lineup.

“All of our minor things have healed,” Taylor said. “We should be back at full force this week thanks to the bye week.”

Andalusia and Childersburg are scheduled for a 7 p.m., kickoff tonight at Andalusia High School.