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VICTORY IS SO SWEET: Andalusia wins at home in 1,000th game

Rick Kearly III was an honorary captain for the Andalusia Bulldogs on Friday night for the 1,000th Andalusia High School football game. His grandfather, Dr. Richard “Bull” Kearly, was Andalusia’s first ever football and his nickname is how Andalusia became known as the Bulldogs.

The Andalusia Bulldogs (4-3, 2-2) knocked off the No. 5-ranked Williamson Lions (4-2, 2-2) 21-0 on Friday night in Andalusia during Andalusia High School’s 1,000th football game.

Andalusia wasted no time getting on the board as Zymon Ray returned the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown.

Reese Burkhardt added the extra point to give the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead just 15 seconds into the contest.

Williamson picked up a couple of first downs on their first drive, but the Bulldog defense held and forced a punt.

Omare Latimer picked up a first down on the first play from scrimmage for the Bulldogs with a 12-yard run.

Cameron Morrisette picked up a pair of first downs for the Bulldogs, but then the drive stalled and Andalusia was forced to punt.

On Williamson’s next drive, Austin Hall came up with a big sack on first down.

Derrick Wright followed with back-to-back stops in the backfield to force another punt from the Lions.

Derrick Wright hammers Williamson’s running back for a loss.
Josh Dutton/Star-News

Andalusia was then forced to punt after three plays.

Andalusia’s Chip Morgan came up with a big stop on Williamson’s next drive and forced another punt from the Lions.

This time Andalusia got pressure and blocked the punt.

Elijah McClain scooped up the loose ball and ran it to the Lions’ 3-yard line.

The Bulldogs needed just one play for Morrisette to bulldoze his way into the end zone.

Burkhardt’s extra point put Andalusia up 14-0 with 9:09 left before halftime.

It looked like Andalusia’s Caleb Blackston had an interception for the Bulldogs on the next drive, but defensive pass interference was called so the Lions retain possession.

However, Andalusia’s defense came up big again and sack from Morrisette helped the Bulldogs force a turnover on downs.

The Bulldogs took a 14-0 lead into halftime.

Andalusia kicked off the Williamson to start the next drive, but the Lions ran only one play before McClain ripped the ball free to give Andalusia the ball.

Andalusia was unable to get anything going on the drive and turned the ball over on downs.

After back-to-back three-and-outs from Andalusia and Williamson, the Lions took over on their own 40-yard line.

Williamson drove down the field and looked to have a strong drive going, but then Drexter Lee made an interception along the Lions’ sideline to give Andalusia the ball.

The Andalusia drive stalled and the Bulldogs were forced to punt.

Andalusia’s defense came up strong once again and forced a three-and-out from the Lions.

Morrisette took a handoff on the next play and raced 33 yards to put the ball deep in Lions’ territory.

Morrisette ripped off another big run down the Lions’ 6-yard line and then punched it in two plays later from 3 yards out.

Burkhardt’s extra point gave Andalusia a 21-0 lead with 4:47 left in the game.

The Williamson drive didn’t last long as McClain picked off a pass to give possession back to the Bulldogs.

Andalusia was able to hold off the Lions for a 21-0 victory.

Prior to the game, the grandson (Rick Kearly III) of Andalusia’s first head coach, Dr. Richard Kearly, was an honorary captain for the Bulldog football team.

“Anytime you pitch a shutout against those athletes right there that’s really really impressive,” Andalusia head coach Trent Taylor said. “The things coaches say all the time is, ‘Special teams, special teams, special teams. Three aspects of football.’ You tell me how big was our special teams tonight. Opening kickoff for a touchdown. Block a punt that sets up a score. The only thing I challenged them at halftime with was that we needed to score an offensive touchdown. They’ve only given up two all year so I was proud to get that one late in the fourth quarter.”