Bulldogs take down Bibb County in homecoming battle of unbeatens, 27-10

Published 10:56 pm Friday, September 29, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Andalusia celebrated homecoming with a hard-fought 27-10 win and handed Bibb County its first loss of the season in a 4A top-10 battle of undefeated teams Friday night.

Head Coach Trent Taylor was proud of his team for playing four full quarters.

“Bibb County has a great football team. Coach (Matt) Geohagan does a great job, and more than likely, we will see them again if we continue to do what we need to do. Zerrick was able to get some good runs, and I am proud of Jack and our receivers. Coach (Matt) Mellown had a great plan. The biggest thing I’m most proud of is that was the first four quarters we’ve had to play on either side of the ball. Our kids did a really good job with that. I don’t know a whole lot about Geneva right now, but we will go to work and find out what we need to do,” Taylor said.

Andalusia (6-0) went three-and-out on its first possession but regained possession when Pickle Calloway recovered a fumble on a punt return. Bibb County (5-1) made a defensive stand, but Cobb Stewart booted a 28-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead with 8:19 left in the opening quarter. The Bulldogs followed with an onside kick but were unable to take advantage and punted back to the Choctaws. Jordan Leverette moved the chains with a 14-yard pass to Matthew Cash on second down before Landen Marshall forced fourth down with a sack.

Jack Lathrop found Elijah Landrum on a 10-yard pass aided by a facemask penalty on the next drive. Zerrick Jones followed with a 13-yard run for another first down and added seven yards on two carries before the quarter ended.

Bibb County forced a turnover on downs and began its next possession with a 15-yard pass from Leverette to Cash. Two false start penalties proved costly as the drive came to an end with a punt. Andalusia took over at its own 42-yard-line and struck fast on just three plays. Lathrop threw a 56-yard touchdown pass to Parker Adams, and Stewart’s PAT was good for a 10-0 lead at the 8:06 mark.

Leverette opened the ensuing offensive series with a 14-yard run and then found Cash open for an 18-yard gain across midfield. Two plays later, Leverette had an 11-yard run before Jay Harris picked up another first down on a 15-yard scamper. Nelix Ferrell broke up a possible touchdown on third down and set up a field goal attempt. Kevin Duran split the uprights and drew the Choctaws within 10-3 with 4:01 left in the half. Kal Crittenden responded back in a big way for the Bulldogs with an 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Stewart converted the PAT for a 17-3 lead just 12 seconds later.

Cortez Morrow followed with a big kickoff return. Leverette earned a first down with an 11-yard run, but the home defense rose up with three straight incompletions and forced a turnover on downs before halftime.

Bibb County stalled on its opening possession of the second half as Tyler Sigers recovered a fumble in opposing territory. Jones began the next drive with a 16-yard run, and Lathrop connected with Brunson Wilson on a 28-yard pass. Two plays later, Jones crossed the goal line from five yards out, and Stewart gave Andalusia a 24-3 lead with 7:08 to go in the third.

The defense continued its good work, but the Choctaws returned the favor with a punt. Ferrell then intercepted a pass, but the Bulldogs were pinned deep at their own 10-yard-line. Lathrop hit Crittenden on an 18-yard pass and set up an 11-yard run from Jones. Following a holding penalty, Jones had a 40-yard run on the final play of the quarter. Lathrop threw a 12-yard pass to Crittenden and set up a 23-yard field goal from Stewart for a 27-3 lead with 10:17 left in the game.

Neither side threatened the rest of the way until Bibb County found the end zone on a strange play with 39.1 seconds remaining. Andalusia almost had a stop, but Leverette shook off the defense and threw a 44-yard touchdown pass to Jamerious Sanders. Duran’s PAT closed the scoring for the night.

Lathrop finished the game 9-of-17 passing for 126 yards and a touchdown. Jones had 19 carries for 107 yards and a touchdown. Adams made one reception for 56 yards and was followed by Crittenden who caught four receptions for 42 yards.

Xavier Marshall led the defense with seven tackles and was followed by Zade Newton who had four. Tristan Pitts, Riley Tucker, and Cadariyus Love also added three tackles in the win.

Andalusia travels to Geneva (2-4, 1-2 4A Region 2) for a region game on Friday, Oct. 6.