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BULLDOGS LOOK TO SHINE: Andy continues to improve as season nears end

The Andalusia Bulldogs (4-3, 2-2) hope to keep things rolling in the right direction as they prepare to take on Escambia County (4-2, 3-1) on Friday in Andalusia for homecoming.

“The biggest thing is that we have to make sure that we are not celebrating last Friday night’s game,” Andalusia head coach Trent Taylor. “Then you throw in homecoming and a hurricane and you have a lot of distractions, obviously.”

With the recent weather, Taylor said that practice hasn’t been normal.

“We were able to get a good practice in Monday,” Taylor said. “Didn’t have a great day on Tuesday, but I think by the time the kids got down here they knew were out of school on Wednesday. I don’t feel like our focus was where it needed to be.”

Taylor said that this isn’t going to be a typical Escambia County team.

“This is not the Atmore that everybody remembers,” Taylor said. “The coach has done a great job down there and those kids are playing extremely well. At this point, they are the second best team in our region. Only because they haven’t played UMS yet. We’ve tried to do a good job of making the guys understand that this isn’t the same Atmore team they played last year. Well it’s a lot of the same kids, but the truth of the matter is they are just a year older. Now the coach has been there for two years so he is kind of getting his system in.”

Taylor said that Escambia County does many things on offense.

“They do a lot of things offensively,” Taylor said. “At one time, a coach told me that he had 31 different formations. I don’t mean moving the tight end from the right to the left. They are in double wing, spread and other different formations. It’s not something we haven’t dealt with. We dealt with that some last Friday with Williamson. The biggest thing is just making sure our focus and attention to detail is where it needs to be this week with everything else that is going on.”

Distractions are a natural part of homecoming, but Taylor said with renovations to the stadium and the auditorium it has intensified the situation.

“The truth of the matter is you don’t even have a normal homecoming,” Taylor said. “Because of all the construction you’ve got kids getting transported away from campus. Homecoming by itself is bad enough, and Andalusia does homecoming fantastic there is no doubt. I would be willing to bet that there is not another high school team in the state that does homecoming as well as Andalusia.”

“With that said, as nice it is, it makes it very tough on the coaching staff and even on the players. Try as you might, it’s hard to remove yourself from all the things that are going on. Hopefully tomorrow, three o’clock will get here sooner than it normally does and we can get back down here to the facility and have pregame meal and turn our attention to what it needs to be turned to. With that said, I was disappointed in our practice on Tuesday. We were able to get some of the guys together last night and go over some things.”

Andalusia and Escambia County have played two common opponents this year.

Andalusia beat Monroe County 48-0 and Escambia County beat Monroe County 54-0.

Andalusia lost to Hillcrest-Evergreen 41-10 and Escambia County lost to Hillcrest-Evergreen 26-0.

Andalusia holds a 22-14 record in the series between the two schools and won last year’s contest 41-0.

Escambia County is coming off a 34-12 victory over Clarke County.

Andalusia is coming off a 13-6 victory over Williamson.

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