BULLDOG DEFENSE DEALS SHUTOUT: After close first half, Andalusia pulls away for 39-0 win

Published 10:49 pm Friday, September 1, 2023

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The Andalusia Bulldogs and the Anniston Bulldogs met again after their thrilling playoff contest last season, but any thought Anniston had of revenge was denied.

The game stayed close throughout the first half with Andalusia holding a 7-0 lead into the locker room, but in the second half the Bulldogs made plays in all facets of the game to pull away for a 39-0 victory.

Andalusia Head Coach Trent Taylor credited his coaching staff for their adjustments after the tight first half and praised the defensive effort from this team.

“The coaches did a good job offensively in making adjustments. The biggest thing is that our defense played lights-out all night long,” Taylor said.

Andalusia received the initial kickoff and came out pushing the ball downfield behind the running of J’Marion Burnette and Zerrick Jones. The big play of the drive came on fourth-and-one when Burnette broke through tacklers at the line for 33 yards to the Anniston 16-yard line. From there Jones took four consecutive hand-offs before hitting the end zone from three yards out. Cobb Stewart’s point-after gave Andalusia the 7-0 lead at 7:38 in the first.

Anniston’s following drive managed to cross midfield, but the Andalusia defense stiffened and forced a punt.

Early in the second, Anniston caught a break when an Andalusia punt bounced off a lineman and back into the arms of an Anniston player who bobbled the ball, allowing Andalusia to down it at the 46-yard line. On fourth-and-five, Jacob Sellers broke through to sack the Anniston quarterback and giving Andalusia possession at their own 45, but the remainder of the half featured a series of punt exchanges.

The first score of the second half came on another punt. Backed up at their own 9-yard line, Anniston’s punt came off the side of the punter’s foot for short yardage, then rolled back into the Andalusia end zone where Xavier Marshall landed on it for the score. Stewart’s point-after gave Andalusia a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter.

After a three-and-out by the home Bulldog defense, the offense took control close to midfield. A 14-yard run by Kal Crittenden was the key play in the drive that ended with a 31-yard field goal by Stewart, increasing Andalusia’s lead to 17-0.

Andalusia would add another score on their next possession, which started with a 34-yard pass from Jack Lathrop to Crittenden. Burnette barreled ahead for an 8-yard gain to the 14. After a flag and a short play resulting in a loss, Lathrop found Brunson Wilson open who run the ball in for the score. A 2-point conversion was good to make the score 25-0.

Another short punt by Anniston set Andalusia up for a score, taking possession at the 19-yard line. Burnette took the handoff on five straight plays, ultimately scoring from three yards out, leading to a 32-0 lead with 9:28 to go.

Andalusia would go on to another score later in the fourth to make the final 39-0.

The Bulldogs, now 2-0 on the season, open region play next week when they host Dale County (1-1).