OLD RIVALS READY TO BATTLE: Andalusia, Opp prepared for county showdown

Published 12:05 am Friday, September 28, 2018

The Andalusia Bulldogs (2-3, 1-2) are looking for a big win as they prepare to host cross-county rival Opp tonight in Andalusia.

“You’ve got to get fired up playing Opp,” Andalusia head coach Trent Taylor said. “I can guarantee that they will have no trouble getting fired up to play Andalusia.”

“The thing we’ve emphasized the most, and this sounds crazy to say, we are so close,” Taylor said. “We can certainly make some mental mistakes as well as anybody I’ve ever seen.”

Taylor said they talked to the kids a lot this week about playing with a passion.

“We talked to the kids a long time about when you look around and the scheme is good and all that, but there is a reason you’re not performing,” Taylor said. “That reason is we are not as disciplined with our focus and concentration as we need to be. I told the young men on Monday that’s my fault. As the leader of this football team, it’s my job to make sure we are doing the things that we need to do and that we are focused. I really feel like they took that to heart.”

Practice has been good this week despite the weather, Taylor said.

“We had good practices this week,” Taylor said. “Last week was the same way. You just have to take what you do Monday and Tuesday and apply it on Friday. If you don’t do that, I don’t care how talented you are or whatever the case may be, you’re not going to be successful. I hope that we will see a more focused football team. The thing about it is you can’t be one thing against Monroe County and be something else against Hillcrest-Evergreen. Then you can’t turn around and play a rivalry game and be one thing and then the following week against Williamson and be something else. This group has worked as hard in June and July as any group in the previous three years I’ve been here.”

Taylor said the players have been getting after it at practice.

“We’ve had two of the best weeks of practice that I’ve been a part of at Andalusia High School,” Taylor said. “Kids are getting after it, even to the point of kids on their own going to a corner and working on things. They want to turn this thing around. This isn’t time to push the panic button. We’ve played three really good football teams and two of those games we could have won.”

Taylor said that the Bulldogs will continue to rotate between John Harper Dubose and Jake Wilson at quarterback for the time being.

“It’s time for one of those guys to step forward, and to be quite honest with you, act like they want to be the quarterback,” Taylor said. “Saban said this summer that the coach doesn’t pick the quarterback the team picks the quarterback. At the same time, whomever the team picks has to be a guy that’s showing some energy and enthusiasm. I don’t care what kind of personality you have, if you want to be a quarterback, whether is Pee Wee or NFL, there has to be a little different step about you. We didn’t start this a couple of weeks ago saying the rest of the games we play we are going to rotate series. I don’t thing either of the guys has done a terrible job. I don’t want it to be someone wins the job because somebody was doing badly. I want somebody to win the job because of the energy, enthusiasm and the way they approach it. That’s what we are looking for. I want somebody that wants to lead the team. Until one of them emerges and shows that, we will continue to rotate. We will do it until one of them does that, and to be honest, I don’t know what either of them are waiting on.”

Andalusia holds a 49-36-4 record over Opp and won last year’s game 47-7.

Kickoff between Andalusia and Opp is set for 7 p.m., tonight in Andalusia.