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Andy falls in hard-fought region battle

The Andalusia Bulldogs put up a strong fight, but fell to Hillcrest 41-10 Friday night in Evergreen.

Things took a bad turn on the opening kickoff when the Andalusia player fielded the ball and took a knee in the end zone for what appeared to be a touchback.

However, the officials said he was partly in the end zone and partly in the field of play and they called a safety on the Bulldogs.

Without any time off the clock, Andalusia was in a 2-0 hole.

Hillcrest then got the ball on, but the Bulldog defense put on a strong showing as they forced the Jaguars to punt after just three plays.

Andalusia got the ball back, but was also forced to punt.

On Hillcrest’s next drive, the Bulldog defense again stepped up and forced a punt after a host of Bulldogs came up with a sack on third down.

On the punt, Michael Jordan came flying in and got a hand on the ball.

The ball traveled about to the line of scrimmage where J.W. Jones scooped it up and returned it to the Hillcrest 25-yard line.

On the first play from scrimmage, Roosevelt Weaver dashed down the left sideline for 24 yards to set the Bulldogs up on the 1-yard line.

Two plays later, Caleb Smallwood punched it in from 4-yards out.

Reese Burkhardt added the extra point to put the Bulldogs up 7-2 with 4:51 left in the first quarter.

Hillcrest got the ball back and picked up a couple of first downs before the Bulldog defense came up big and forced a punt.

The Hillcrest punter skied the ball sending the Andalusia returner scampering back behind the 10-yard line to attempt to catch the ball.

The ball tipped off his fingers and Hillcrest was able to recover the ball on the Andalusia 9-yard line to keep their drive alive.

Two plays later, Hillcrest found the end zone and went up 8-7 with 53 seconds left in the first quarter.

The next score came a few drives later when Hillcrest scored on a 17-yard pass touchdown to go up 14-7 with 8:42 left in the first half.

Andalusia’s offense had trouble staying on the field as they were forced to another three-and-out and had to punt the ball away.

The Jaguars responded with another touchdown as they extended their lead to 20-7 with five minutes left in the first half.

On the Bulldogs next drive, it looked like they might be heading for another three-and-out as they were facing a third-and-long play, John Harper Dubose connected with Zymon Ray for a 30-yard pass and catch to extend the drive.

The Bulldogs moved the ball into Hillcrest territory, but after a penalty on second-and-eight by the Jaguars, the chain gang laid the chains on the crowd indicating that Andalusia was in a first-and-goal situation.

However, the officials thought differently and signaled third down even though the chain gang still had the chains on the ground away.

Andalusia was then forced to settle for a field goal.

Burkhardt split the uprights with plenty of leg on a 37-yard field goal to leave the Bulldogs trailing 20-10 with just over a minute left in the first half.

The game remained 20-10 until 9:10 left in the game when Hillcerest returned a punt for a touchdown.

Hillcrest then scored off of a long run with 4:21 left in the game and then the final score came on pick six as time expired.

“I think we have gotten better offensively,” Andalusia head coach Trent Taylor said. “We had some miscues on special teams and that’s on me. That’s me not doing a good job making sure the kids understand the game like they should.”