FRIDAY NIGHTS IN NOVEMBER: Bulldogs ready for playoff tilt with St. James

Published 12:05 am Friday, November 17, 2017

The top-ranked Andalusia Bulldogs know what’s at stake tonight when they host the St. James Trojans in the second round of the AHSAA Class 4A state playoffs.

“Obviously, when you get to this point in the season everyone has a good team,” Andalusia head coach Trent Taylor said. “St. James is no exception to that. They are a really good football team.”

The Trojans started the season a little slow, but Taylor said that they appear to have picked up steam heading into the playoffs.

“From watching them on film, you can tell they have been doing different things later in the season,” Taylor said. “I think it took them a few weeks to get all of the guys in the right place, but now they have reeled off seven or eight wins a row.”

When the Trojans are on offense, Taylor said that Andalusia would have to be prepared to stop a good running back.

“They have a kid a running back who is very good,” Taylor said. “I’m not talking about a 1,000 yard rusher, he almost has 1,500 yards. He is only a junior, but he has several offers, including a few SEC schools.”

Taylor said that the offense that St. James runs isn’t something they have seen often.

“They have some good size up front and they have a wing back that weighs over 200 pounds,” Taylor said. “They run a wing-T offense, which isn’t something that we don’t see much anymore. When you face an offense like that, you have to spend a little more time a practice preparing. We are going to have to play disciplined and be assignment conscience. When they play goes to the other side of the field, we have to stay at home because chance it could come right back.”

Coming into the game, Taylor said the players know what’s at stake.

“It’s been a very good week of practice,” Taylor said. “Right now, we are 1-of-16 teams left in our classification. That’s a good thing, but it’s even better to be 1-of-8. The guys, especially the juniors and seniors, are really hungry. They know that each round tougher and you have to step up your game.”

Taylor said that key would be for them to play their game.

“We just have to go out there and do what we do,” Taylor said. “Special teams and turnovers are going to big in a game as evenly matched as this one. Making special teams plays, not making mistakes or turning the ball over. All of cliches that coaches say are so true in a game like this.”