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2ND ROUND BOUND: Andy overcomes turnovers to advance

The Andalusia Bulldogs laid the hammer down on the Montevallo Bulldogs to pick up a 28-8 win in the opening round of Class 4A state playoffs in Montevallo.

Andalusia got the ball to start the game, but things didn’t start like they wanted as they fumbled on the first play and Montevallo recovered.

Montevallo picked up a first down on the ensuing drive, but then Andalusia forced and recovered a fumble.

Andalusia got a huge run from Roosevelt Weaver on the next drive, but another fumble turned the ball over again.

Montevallo took over, but quickly got put in a hole following a big sack by Kendall Sims Chip Morgan.

Montevallo was forced to punt a few plays later.

Andalusia took over on its own 15-yard line and 13-yard run from Caleb Smallwood gave the Bulldogs a quick first down.

A few plays later, Jake Wilson connected with Keaun Samuel for a big gain and another Andalusia first down.

Andalusia continued to push the ball down the field and Weaver capped off the drive with a 1-yard touchdown. Reese Burkhardt added the extra point to give Andalusia a 7-0 lead with eight seconds left in the opening quarter.

On the following drive, Montevallo got the ball down inside the Andalusia 10-yard line, but Andalusia’s defense came up big.

J.W. Jones came up with a big sack for 13 yards behind the line and then and incomplete pass on fourth down turned the ball over on downs.

Elijiah McClain was celebrating his 17th birthday on Friday and ripped off a 50-yard run on the second play of the next Andalusia drive.

A few plays later, Wilson struck gold on a 19-yard touchdown run. Burkhardt’s extra point was good and the Bulldogs were on top 14-0 with a little more the six minutes left in the opening half.

Andalusia stopped Montevallo on downs on the next drive, but was then forced to punt after just three plays.

Andalusia’s defense came up big again and stopped Montevallo again on downs, then kneeled on the ball to run out the clock in the first half.

Montevallo got the ball to start the second half and got a big 15-yard loss on first down.

On fourth-and-21, Montevallo decided to try a fake punt from their own 15-yard line. McClain nearly intercepted the throw, but batted it down to give Andalusia the ball.

Andalusia needed just three plays for Wilson to connect with Josh Gurly for a 14-yard touchdown. Burkhardt added the extra point to put Andalusia up 21-0 with 8:58 left in the third.

Montevallo took over following the kickoff and then was forced to punt after three plays. McClain came up with another big break up in the secondary to help force the punt.

Andalusia then turned the ball back over with a fumble.

Montevallo then went down the field and scored. After the two-point conversion, Andalusia was on top 21-8 with 1:15 left in the third quarter.

Andalusia answered right back when Zymon Ray hauled in a pass from Wilson and raced 60-plus yards to the end zone. Another successful extra point from Burkhardt gave Andalusia a 28-8 lead with 9:37 left in the game.

Montevallo took over and continued to try to get the ball to J.J. Evans, who was 102 yards shy of the AHSAA single-season receiving yards record, but the combination of Ashley Odom and Drexter Lee continued to deny Evans any hope of breaking the record.

Lee then came up with an interception to give Andalusia the ball back with 7:52 left in the game.

Andalusia was able to finish off the game for a 28-8 victory.

“I’d love to know what it would have been like if we don’t turn it over four times,” Andalusia head coach Trent Taylor said. “That’s the only disappointing thing about the whole night. Give coach (Jarrett) Williamson and that entire staff credit. I think anybody that was here tonight knows that No. 1 (J.J. Evans) is a something special. He is going to be a tremendous college football player. Ashley Odom weighs 130 pounds soaking wet and we pressed him all night long with him and what a tremendous job he did. Offense as well. I’m disappointed in the turnovers, but we will work on that next week. At least there is a next week.”

Andalusia will play Headland next Friday in Andalusia in the second round of the playoffs.

Roosevelt Weaver runs through a Montevallo player.