Kelvin Worship and the Bulldogs’ offense used a productive second half to improve to 4-0 after their 36-0 shutout at Baldwyn last Friday.
The senior’s three touchdowns capped the team’s second shutout of the season, but the game was closer than the score suggested in the first half.
“We just weren’t executing again. We had plays wide open and had linemen not getting on their blocks,” NAHS head coach Ron Price said. “We’ve preached to them to play football the way we’ve coached them in practice. When they make adjustments, we have to make adjustments, too. The kids listened to us and came out and did a good job.”
New Albany opened the game with a safety and later took an 8-0 lead after Tyler Basil found Taylor Goode for a 25-yard touchdown midway through the quarter. The ‘Dawgs scored once more on Basil’s 30-yard pass to Kareem Brown, but those were all the offensive highlights the Bulldogs had in the first half, with Baldwyn shutting down the running game.
“We had some problems with the offensive line in the first half, but once we figured those out, it was on after that,” Basil said. “They did a great job in the second half, and they showed why we’re one of the best offenses around.”
“Kelvin Worship and the offensive line came out in the second half and played an outstanding two quarters,” Price added. “We challenged them to do that at halftime, and I think in the second half we showed again that we can be effective if we do things right.”
Worship’s first score came at the 5:59 mark in the third on a 45-yard run. Worship would score again in the third and add the game’s final score late in the game from five yards out. The senior finished with 16 carries for 129 yards.
“The offensive line came out and got fired up [in the second half], putting some people on their tail. I was just doing what I had to do to get us ready.
Basil finished 9-for-18 for 185 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Brown was the game’s leading receiver with two catches for 64 yards, and Riley Alef led the defense with 10 tackles.
The ‘Dawgs defense had a season-high four sacks (Austin Howard, Boston Newsome, Shane Smith and Devonte Bradley), as they have produced their second shutout of the season.
“We’ve been working extremely hard in practice and now we’re coming out here and showing it,” Howard said of the defensive effort.
“The defense continues to show us just how good they are and how good they can be as the season goes along, so just an outstanding performance tonight,” Price added.
With the win, the Bulldogs were able to avenge a loss the Bearcats handed them in 2008, as well as remaining perfect on the season.
“It feels good. We were here two years ago and lost a hard fought game that night, but these kids have done a great job and we’re proud of their effort,” Price said.
The Bulldogs will travel on the road again this week, taking on Independence this Friday.