BATTLE OF THE BULLDOGS: Andalusia prepares to take on No. 1 UMS-Wright

Published 12:05 am Friday, September 7, 2018

The fifth-ranked Andalusia Bulldogs (1-1) look to start region play strong as they prepare to host top-ranked UMS-Wright tonight in Andalusia.

“It’s the first region game,” Andalusia head coach Trent Taylor said. “That makes it even bigger.”

Taylor said he hopes to continue to see his team grow each week.

“My expectations this week, next week and every other week will be to be better this Friday than we were last Friday,” Taylor said. “I think that’s the biggest thing we have to do as a football team. We’ve had a lot of things that we have had to overcome none of which are anybody’s fault. This is just a different team and this is the last time I’m going to say that because by this point we ought to be this year’s team.”

The players know there is still a lot of work to be done, Taylor said.

“We know there is much improvement to be made,” Taylor said. “When I say we I’m not talking about the coaches I’m talking about the kids.”

Taylor said he has been pleased with how practice has gone this week.

“We’ve had a really good week of practice,” Taylor said. “The kids have been extremely focused. I think we have worked on the things that we need to get better. Now I will be honest with you, we’ve did some stuff yesterday, team wise, and filmed it and we are still making some mistakes.”

Taylor said his players have gotten better at taking constructive criticism.

“Nowadays, if you point out a mistake to a kid he thinks you are chastising him,” Taylor said. “This group is very very good about, ‘You see right here where you made a mistake?’ and they respond, ‘Yes sir.’ and be about correcting it.”

Capitalizing on solid field position is something Taylor said the Bulldogs need to improve.

“The biggest thing last week was the amount of points we left in the red zone,” Taylor said. “You can’t have the ball inside the 10 three times and kick field goals everytime. Nothing wrong with kicking field goals, but you need to score touchdowns sometimes. We’ve done some things that we think are going to help that.”

The defensive unit is something Taylor said he hopes continues to play like they have the first two weeks.

“I want see our defense continue to play as they have, I feel like, the last past two weeks,” Taylor said. “I feel like the defensive line has played very well. We had some big turnovers last Friday night. I would like us to take that and continue with it. The biggest thing that I want to see is a team understanding the opponent is different, the opponent is better, but we wouldn’t be in the position if we couldn’t look at film and tell if we are improving or not. It doesn’t really matter what the folks in the stands think. I can watch film and tell if we are getting there. If you poll every kid on the football team, they will tell you that they know we are not where we want to be. There is a lot of new little particulars that we are having to work through. We are going to do that and we are going to be O.K.”

UMS-Wright leads the series 14-1.

Andalusia won last year’s regular season game 27-21 in overtime, but UMS-Wright came away with a 35-28 win in last year’s Class 4A semifinal game.

UMS-Wright went on to win last year’s Class 4A state championship.

Andalusia and UMS-Wright are set to kickoff at 7 p.m., tonight in Andalusia.