Andale got off to a rough start in 2011, as it lost its first five games. Don’t expect the same. This team is hungry for success, and success means one thing and one thing only in Andale; winning.
Coach: Gary O’Hair (100-22 at Andale, 170-55 Overall)
2011 Recap: 5-6 overall, 2-3 AVCTL Div. IV.
After five straight losses to start the season, Andale bounced back to win its final four games of the season to make the playoffs where it lost to eventual state champion Rose Hill in the second round.
Returning Starters: 4 Offense, 6 Defense
2012 District: Buhler, Nickerson, Cheney
As usual, Andale’s offense was outstanding in 2011. It was one of two teams in AVCTL Div. IV to break 1,000 yards rushing. The Indians rushed for 2,795 yards, nearly three times as much as the third-best team. If Andale, as expected, can keep that production up, it’s hard to say just how much success it will have this year.
Running back Jake May will return for his senior season behind an offensive line anchored by Jake Brand and Daniel Carney, both back for their senior seasons. This trio could prove to be huge for Andale down the stretch. Not only the seniors, but some of the juniors in 2012 remember the loss of five straight games to start the season, and will not let it happen again.
Andale’s swan song is its run game. It is an unbalanced offense, but it has proved to be successful time and time again. The 2011 squad averaged 254 rush yards per game, while it averaged just 42.5 pass yards per game, good for next-to-last in the league. The league’s worst passing team, on average, was Clearwater, who had arguably the best running back tandem in school history in 2011.
The Andale offense had no problem finding the end zone as it scored 29.2 points per game, the second-highest in the league. Andale is looking to match or better that production of it run game and points scored in 2012, and with May at running back and Carney and Brand blocking for him, there’s no reason to expect anything different.
In 2011, Andale allowed the second-most yards per game. So although it gains a ton of yards and scores points, it couldn’t stop a team when it needed to. However, the 2012 version of the Andale defense should be much improved from last season.
The Indians return six players from last year’s squad, all seniors. Included in those six is Jake Brand, an all-league selection at linebacker. Levi Eck and Gabe Probst join Brand in the secondary to make up one of the most experienced linebacking groups in the league, possibly the state.
Michael Maus and Kyle Armstrong will anchor the defensive line that hopes to bring back a stuffing run defense. As the saying goes, if you want to win, run the ball and stop the run. Andale is poised to do both.
ODDS AND ENDS:
Teams in the past have been poised for the exact same thing as Andale, and haven’t seized the opportunity. Andale is not that team. It remembers what losing five straight games feels like. It remembers having to claw its way back to relevance after just one month of failure and finishing with a losing record. This team is mad, and this team is good.
The community of Andale is a football-crazed community that expects a quality product each and every Friday night. The definition of a quality product in Andale is a win. That’s it.
Andale finished its season on a loss to eventual state champion Rose Hill in the second round of the playoffs after a (according to Andale’s standards) huge losing streak. It’s all but guaranteed a losing streak won’t happen again. So it’s not a question of if the Indians will make the playoffs, but a question of how far they will go.