Storms were raging throughout central and south Alabama on Friday night.
There was a storm facing the Andalusia Bulldogs as well, one that changed the look of 5A Region 2.
“It’s ‘Thunder’ and ‘Lightning,’” Pike Road coach Patrick Browning said. “Quinshon (Judkins) brings the thunder and Iverson (Hooks) brings the lightning. They both run the ball hard. Both of them did a good job staying within the scheme and doing what we asked them to do.”
Judkins rushed for 174 yards and three touchdowns and Hooks rushed for 202 yards and two touchdowns as Pike Road stunned Andalusia 39-18 in Municipal Stadium on Friday night.
The Patriots are known for getting in a spread offense and spreading the ball all over the field to receivers, but Hooks threw just 10 passes on Friday, completing five for 96 yards, as the Bulldogs concentrated on stopping the pass.
“I thought we threw the ball decent,” Browning said. “But we were picking up yards running the ball and at times they were doing a good job of bracketing our receivers and they were giving us good numbers to run the ball. They were giving us the run, so we continued taking the run.
“A couple of things in the game plan, I think, helped on both sides of the ball. We shifted a lot more offensively and I feel like that slowed them down on defense. We didn’t turn the ball over. That was key. I thought our guys did a really good job of overcoming penalties and negative things that happened in both halves and not letting it affect them.”
Andalusia (1-3) isn’t having one of its typical years under Trent Taylor, but the Bulldogs are still considered a playoff team despite their first region loss of the season on Friday. Under Taylor, who moved from nearby Straughn to take over the Andalusia program in 2015, the Bulldogs are 54-15 in 2015-19, with nearly half (seven) of those losses to UMS-Wright. Those five years leading up to 2020 include a quarterfinal appearance and four semifinal appearances in the state playoffs and a 12-0 record against local teams Trinity, St. James, Catholic, Alabama Christian and Tallassee.
“Hats off to Andalusia,” Browning said. “It speaks for itself, what kind of record they have, especially at home. He’s a great coach and does a great job. They have fantastic facilities. Their kids love Andalusia and they play hard, but I’ll say this: Our kids love Pike Road and they play hard, too.
“That’s an extremely hostile place to play. I thought our kids did a good job of not letting it faze them.”
Pike Road traveled south for Friday’s game with “around eight” players that were self-quarantined, according to Browning, and unable to participate.
“This is ‘the’ year that everybody’s got to overcome adversity,” he said. “We had to overcome adversity on Friday by not having all of our starters out there because we had kids that were quarantined because they were sitting next to people in class (that had tested positive) with COVID. That’s part of it right now.”
After the “storm” left Andalusia, a new team was atop the 5A Region 2 standings. The Patriots (4-0) moved up this season from 3A and are now among nine unbeaten teams remaining in 5A, along with Faith Academy, St. Paul’s Episcopal, Demopolis, Central-Clay County, Ramsay, Alexandria, Guntersville and Russellville.
“We never thought about the jump to 5A, we were focused on us,” Browning said. “The bottom line is, what we’ve done the past four weeks is over. We’re laser focused on Rehobeth. We’re trying to go 1-0 this week. As good a win as it was and as much respect as we have for Andalusia, we’re just looking to beat Rehobeth.”
The Patriots return home for a three-game home stand beginning this week against Rehobeth, followed by Tallassee and Charles Henderson.