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T.R. Miller breaks Bulldogs down

By: Andrew Garner/Andalusia Star-News

T.R. Miller’s Anthony Herbert ran all over the Andalusia defense Friday night racking up 125 yards on 25 carries and scored two touchdowns to help lift his team to a 22-6 road victory over the Bulldogs.

Herbert ran in to score from 13 and 2 yards out in the first half, where the scoring took place for both teams.

Andalusia got its first loss of the season Friday night, and will be at home next week against Hillcrest-Evergreen for homecoming.

The Tigers executed a pass play in the first quarter to enable them to draw first blood over the Bulldogs.

The key to the game for the Tigers came at the beginning of the game, when their defense held the Bulldogs to two three-and-outs.

“In the first half, they out-executed us,” AHS coach Brian Seymore said. “We had some break downs here and there. The credit goes to T.R. Miller and their staff. They had a good plan, and they out-executed us and took some of that stuff we like to do out of the way.”

Andalusia got on board on its first possession of the second quarter on a pass from junior back up quarterback Deion Akins to Jacard Townsend to give the Bulldogs the only score of the game.

T.R. Miller coach Jamie Riggs said his team knew they had to play their best Friday night.

“Andalusia has a terrific team,” Riggs said. “We knew that we had to play our very best game of the year to have a chance. I thought one of the keys was that we got off to a really good start, and we needed to do that to have a chance.

“(We) got them stopped down there and were able to take the ball, and move down the field and make something happen on offense to give a little bit of momentum and get our crowd behind us, which we really needed,” he said.

T.R. Miller took advantage of its first offensive possession of the night when senior quarterback Wil Riggs connected with senior running back Jaren Jackson from 11 yards out with 6:40 left in the first quarter.

The Tigers made the two-point conversion when Riggs again connected with Jackson from the three-yard line to pout their lead at 8-0.

After holding the Bulldogs to a second three-and-out, the Tigers had six yards on fourth down and decided for a fake. It worked as David Ikner rushed down the field to about the 20-yard line. But, Andalusia’s Derrick King got in the way and tackled low to force a fumble.

Andalusia couldn’t get anything else going on its offensive possession, having to punt and then getting a face mask to put the Tigers in good field position with the seconds ticking down in the first quarter.

At the beginning of the second quarter, the Tigers started on Andalusia’s 30-yard line, and put together a 4-play 31-yard drive for their second score of the night.

Herbert did the scoring for T.R. Miller (3-2, 2-1 in Class 3A, Region 1) from 13 yards out, and then ran in the three-yard, two-point conversion to give the Tigers a 16-0 lead with 10:33 left in the second quarter.

Since Andalusia couldn’t put anything together on the ground Friday night, AHS coach Brian Seymore sent in Akins, who then executed the three-yard pass to Townsend in the end zone. The Bulldogs (4-1, 3-0 in Class 4A, Region 2) tried for a two-point conversion, but failed.

The ground game for the Bulldogs included King going 12 yards on nine carries.

To seal the first half, and inevitably get the win, Herbert rushed into the end zone with zero seconds left in the first half to add six ticks to the score. The two-point conversion attempt on a pass from Riggs to Ryland Dixon was no good.

In the first half, Riggs was 3-of-5 for 68 yards and one touchdown, and the Tigers total offense was 181 yards.

In the second half, T.R. Miller added 76 yards on offense to finish the game with 257.

Andalusia’s defense changed in the second half forcing a three-and-out on the Tigers with 9:53 left in the third quarter.

Andalusia couldn’t take advantage of its momentum, tried a fake punt on a fourth-and-four play and failed.

T.R. Miller fumbled the ball twice Friday night.

With 1:22 left in the game, Andalusia’s defense didn’t give up to allow the offense to make something happen.

Zelensky then went on to complete three passes out of six before the clock ran out.

Seymore said there are other players that can move the ball on the team, that it has to be a total “team effort.”

“We’ve got other guys that can make plays, and that’s what they’ve got to understand,” Seymore said. “It’s a team effort. I think we had our opportunities. We had some opportunities and we didn’t capitlaize in the red zone at times.”

Akins went 5-of-6 for 60 yards and one touchdown, while Zelensky was 4-of-13 for 113 yards and had one interception.

Riggs went 2-of-4 for 15 yards and had one turnover.

Despite the loss, Seymore said the team will be ready for the Jaguars next Friday.

“I know our kids will come back next week, and be focused and ready for next week,” he said. “The coaches and players will be ready to play next week.”