Andalusia’s Ethan Wilson runs during the Bulldog opening drive. Photo credit Josh Dutton/Star News
In a big game filled with big plays, the Andalusia Bulldogs toppled the UMS Wright Bulldogs 27-21 in overtime Friday night in Andalusia. After the game was knotted at 21-21 in regulation, UMS Wright had two rushing touchdowns negated for holding penalties in the first overtime possession. The visitors from Mobile then had a pass intercepted by Andalusia’s B.J. Anderson to stop the scoring threat. When Roosevelt Weaver cashed in a touchdown from two yards out moments later, Andalusia had secured their first victory ever over UMS Wright.
Andalusia received the opening kickoff and started fast. Quarterback Ethan Wilson led the Bulldog drive for the first touchdown. The key play was a Wilson connection with receiver B.J. Anderson for a 16 yard gain on a fourth and five. UMS responded immediately when runner Symon Smith broke loose on a 55 yard touchdown run. The scored was tied at 7-7. Andalusia received the kickoff and started another drive into UMS territory. On a big fourth and one play, Ethan Wilson kept the ball for a 34 yard touchdown and Andalusia held a 14-7 lead as the 2nd quarter began.
Negative plays and penalties killed offensive drives for both sides in the 2nd quarter and the teams traded punts. Andalusia held a 14-7 lead at halftime.
UMS Wright returned the second half kickoff to the Andalusia 17 yard line. Facing a fourth and goal from the 3 yard line, Andalusia’s do all everything B.J. Anderson intercepted the UMS pass to end the goal line threat. Starting from the 1, Wilson them hooked up with Anderson on a 99 yard touchdown pass. The extra point gave the Bulldogs a 21-7 edge over UMS.
UMS started another drive late in the third quarter. Smith picked up 40 yards on the first play of the drive, and a few plays later power runner Dylan Casstevens punched the ball in from 3 yards out on the first play of the fourth quarter. On the extra-point attempt, an Andalusia player got a hand on the ball and caused it to come up short, giving the home team a 21-13 lead.
UMS Wright’s Will Courtney halted the next Andy drive with a clutch interception. UMS-Wright drove to the Bulldog ten yard line, but the Andalusia defense stopped UMS-Wright on four straight plays inside the Andalusia 10-yard line to force a turnover on downs with 1:25 left in the contest.
The UMS defense held strong forcing Wilson to punt from his own goal line. UMS returned the punt to the Andalusia 6 yard line. Quarterback Will Chapman hit Casstevens on the next play for the touchdown. When UMS converted the two point play, the game was tied at 21-21, setting up overtime.
Andalusia’s B.J. Anderson makes clutch 4th down catch on the opening drive. Photo credit Josh Dutton
“I can’t say enough about they way these kids played tonight,” Andalusia head coach Trent Taylor said. “Our defense did an outstanding job. One of our best defensive lineman, William Lindsey, went down on the first play of the game and some guys stepped up in a big way. There were just so many players out there tonight that made this win possible. This is a big win for us.” Symon Smith ran for 136 yards on 18 carries for UMS.
The win puts Andalusia in the drivers seat of the 4A Region 1 race. The Bulldogs travel to Escambia County Friday night. UMS Wright will look to rebound Friday with a home contest against Satsuma.
Photo credit Josh Dutton/Star News