Bulldogs roar past Dale County with strong ground game, 56-6

Published 10:29 pm Friday, September 8, 2023

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Andalusia recovered from a slow start and totaled 350 rushing yards for a 56-6 senior night win over Dale County in the first region game for both teams Friday night.

AHS Head Coach Trent Taylor had mixed feelings about the lopsided victory.

“It’s always good to get a region win and have a lot of things to be happy about when you win but certainly some things I’m really disappointed in. We didn’t play well on offense in the first half. I’m proud of Zerrick and Jordyn who are our future and our present for a couple of weeks. We can’t be one-dimensional as a football team and will see how this team reacts to being on the road next week,” Taylor said.

The two teams traded three-and-outs on their opening possessions of the game. Running back J’Marion Burnette left the game early due to an injury. Andrevius Smith began Dale County’s second drive with a 7-yard run, but another punt gave Andalusia the ball at its own 28. Zerrick Jones picked up the initial first down by either side with a 13-yard run and moved into opposing territory with a 14-yard scamper. Jordyn Skanes earned back-to-back first-down carries of 20 and 10 yards into the red zone. Jones capped the 10-play, 72-yard drive with a 7-yard touchdown run, and Cobb Stewart’s PAT opened up a 7-0 lead with 5:40 left in the opening quarter.

The Warriors managed one first down on their ensuing possession but were forced into another punt. The Bulldogs responded with a 35-yard touchdown run from Skanes and took a 14-0 lead. The home defense held yet again as the first quarter ended. Jones opened the second quarter with a bang and raced 81 yards to pay dirt on the first play. Stewart was true on the PAT for a 21-0 lead.

Riley Tucker recovered a fumble on the first play of Dale County’s next series. Following an incomplete pass, Skanes found an opening and struck gold on a 21-yard touchdown run. Stewart pushed Andalusia’s lead to 28-0 with 11:19 remaining in the half. The Warriors were once again shut down on offense. Jack Lathrop hit Elijah Landrum on a 15-yard pass and then Jordan Stallworth on a 14-yard dart to the visiting 29. Three plays later, Lathrop threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Kal Crittenden. Stewart’s PAT was good and gave the Bulldogs a 35-0 lead.

Andalusia (3-0, 1-0 4A Region 2) forced another three-and-out and was poised to score again before Dale County (1-2, 0-1) recovered a fumble. The Warriors saw another drive stall as the Bulldogs regained possession and put together a 7-play, 84-yard drive. Lathrop converted a 15-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Daniels for a 42-0 halftime lead.

Andalusia received a 22-yard touchdown run from Noah Curry on its opening drive of the second half. Logan Reaves converted the PAT for a 49-0 lead. Preston Stevens had a 15-yard first-down run for Dale County before a turnover on downs.

Pickle Calloway manufactured 41 yards on the next drive as the third quarter ended. Calloway then crossed the goal line from 14 yards out on the initial play of the fourth. Reaves’ second PAT took the Bulldogs’ lead to 56-0 with 11:51 left. The Warriors averted the shutout when Smith had a 1-yard touchdown run, but a failed two-point conversion resulted in the final outcome.

Lathrop finished 12-of-22 passing for 156 yards and two touchdowns, all in the first half. Skanes had 12 carries for 132 yards and two touchdowns, while Jones added seven carries for 131 yards and two scores. Crittenden had five receptions for 65 yards with a touchdown, and Daniels collected three receptions for 41 yards with a touchdown.

Xavier Marshall paced the defense with 4.5 tackles and was followed by Will Dalton with 3.5. Cadariyus Love also defended three passes.

Andalusia travels to Bullock County (1-2, 0-1) for another region matchup on Friday, Sept. 15.