Bouncing back from a tough loss was the goal for New Albany this week, and using a consistent offensive performance, the ‘Dawgs improved to 3-1 after their 27-0 shutout of Amory on Friday.
“You hate to lose,” NAHS coach Ron Price said of last week’s loss to Pontotoc, “but it that’s what it takes to get this team’s attention and move this team forward, I’m just proud of the way we responded tonight.”
The ‘Dawgs scored in each quarter, starting with an 80-yard punt return by Josh Creekmore following the Panthers’ opening possession. Boston Newsome added to that with his six-yard run in the second, and senior Josh Hardin tacked on two scores in the second half, giving him three scores on the season.
“We finally came out and scored in the second half; we haven’t done that all year,” Hardin said. “It feels good to score, and I had two good balls thrown by Spencer Day. It just worked out really well.”
“We definitely worked on finishing drives,” Day added of the offensive effort. “Last week, we had so many opportunities to win that ball game, and we just didn’t get it done. This week we worked on finishing drives and making the passes we didn’t get last week. It was fun tonight.”
Price spoke of his offensive unit, noting the importance of them executing and finishing drives, things he saw from them against Amory.
“It just comes down to execution, and tonight, our guys stayed on their blocks, moved their feet, and Boston did an outstanding job of moving the football,” he said. “When you run the football it opens up the pass. We were able to convert big touchdown passes because our offensive line and rushing game was doing such a good job for us.”
Day finished 5-for-10 for 73 yards and two touchdowns, while Newsome led the rushing attack with 186 yards on 33 carries.
Defensively, the Bulldogs kept Amory out of the end zone, creating crucial turnovers, including an interception by Broderick Cook in the third quarter and Brady Barnes led the unit with 20 tackles.
“I don’t think our folks realize how good they are,” Price said of Amory. “They’ve been averaging 40 points a game and for us to shut that team out, you don’t see that type of offense every week. To shut those guys out is a big deal, and when we needed a big play, someone stepped up and made it.”
“Coming off a loss, you have to do whatever you can to bounce back, and I think we proved tonight that we can be as good as last year if we put our minds to it,” Hardin added.
Next for the Bulldogs (3-1) is a road test at Corinth (1-2) on September 16.