Monday, November 19, 2007

Bulldogs advance to round three

Andalusia advanced to the third round of state playoffs Friday night after a 31-21 victory over Cleburne County."I am extremely proud of our defense," Heath Harmon, head football coach for Andalusia, said. "(Cleburne County) was an inch away from a first down and our defense shut them down in the first half. Coach Hawthorne coaches hard and the kids play hard. I am just glad to be on the sidelines with them. I like the way they play."
The night looked grim in the early minutes of the first half after Cleburne County recovered a Bulldog fumble the Andalusia 30. The Tigers delivered a pass to the Andalusia 30 on the first snap and followed up with a touchdown to take 7 - 0 lead with 8:40 left in the first quarter.Andalusia's Jamie Bush responded to Cleburne County with an 85-yard kickoff return into the end zone. Gillis Jones' PAT was good for a 7 - 7 tie with 8:27 remaining in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs delivered their second touchdown of the night with a 5-yard touchdown run by Michael Berry with 45 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Jones' PAT was good and Andalusia moved into a 14 - 7 lead.Cleburne County evened the score 14 - 14 at the top of the second half with a 5-yard run at the 8:47 mark of the third quarter. Bush returned the Tiger kickoff from the Andalusia 10 to the Andalusia 29. The Bulldogs continued to net first downs and earned a spot on the Cleburne County 25 after a 22-yard carry by Berry.
Andalusia's second-string sophomore Kenneth Chambers subbed for an injured Brent Shiver at the 3:36 mark of the third quarter. Chambers delivered a quarterback sneak to the Cleburne County 20 and Jones delivered a 20-yard field goal to push Andalusia into a 17 - 14 lead at the half.Bulldog defense entered the second with a mission and shut down Cleburne County within the first minute of action. The Tigers to the Andalusia 25 and Berry returned to the punt to the Andalusia 33. Andalusia offense sprung into action when Shiver returned to the quarterback slot and delivered a carry to the Cleburne County 39 at the 9:14 mark of the third quarter."He is tough as nails to go out after injury," Harmon said. "He went back in the second half and our whole team rallied around it. Our team knows that when someone goes down, then someone else has to step up. I think the whole team stepped up. Every team is good in the playoffs and they are going to make plays. You must step up to the challenge."The Bulldogs did step up to the challenge with a total of 29 carries for 260 yards in the second half. Senior linebacker Brannon Bryan delivered one of those carries for 5 yards and an Andalusia touchdown. Jones' PAT was good and the Bulldogs moved into a more comfortable 24 - 14 lead with 3:26 remaining in the third quarter.Cleburne County made an impressive drive at the end of the first quarter and earned a spot on the Andalusia 30, but a fumble at the Andalusia 18 placed the ball back into the hands of the Bulldogs. Andalusia responded with a 30-yard carry by Berry to the Andalusia 48. The Bulldogs continued to advance, but received assistance from Cleburne County after an illegal block below the waist. Richardson took the ball on the following snap and ran 36-yards into the end zone. Jones' PAT was good to give Andalusia a 31 - 14 lead at the end of the third quarter.Cleburne County delivered the last touchdown of the night with a 25-yard touchdown run with 8:02 remaining in the game.
"A lot of things happened on the field tonight," Harmon said to his players during a post-game huddle Friday night. "Everyone stepped up to the plate. Defense did an excellent job tonight. I am proud of all of you."Andalusia will travel to Tuscaloosa next week to face Central in the third round of state playoffs.


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