Another new face stepped up when the Bulldogs were in need of a big play, and it was the late interception by Brady Barnes that helped New Albany pick up their division-opening win at Senatobia, 13-12, Friday night.
“He’s had the opportunity to be a starter this year, and he has an advantage having Riley Alef play next to him,” NAHS coach Ron Price said. “Those two guys have been a very nice one, two combination. Brady made a very big play for us at the end, getting the interception and allowing us to run out the clock. That’s just the character of this football team. You never know who is going to step up with the big play, and thank goodness someone found a way to step up and make a play when it mattered the most.”
The defense allowed two second quarter touchdowns off runs by Monterrius Wink and Quinterrius Wink following the ‘Dawgs’ first quarter score on a pass from Spencer Day to Riley Alef. The Bulldogs used a no huddle offense, something they started late in the game against Cleveland last week with the hope of catching the Warriors in a mismatch.
“We needed something to get us going on offense,” Price said. “We’ve been pretty flat the first five football games, and we thought it would give our kids some excitement and energy, giving us something no one has seen.”
“Our kids have worked with us for four years now, so they know our plays, know how to execute them, so we thought by speeding up the tempo and being able to switch formations quickly, we could catch Senatobia in a mismatch. I think we moved the ball much better tonight, we just have to continue to work inside the red zone and finish those drives and put more points on the board.”
“Last week against Cleveland, we went no huddle and had a lot of success offensively,” Bulldogs’ quarterback Spencer Day added. “We didn’t get a lot of points, but it was fun and I think it will help us out in the long run.”
Down 12-7 in the third, Josh Creekmore scored the go-ahead touchdown, but New Albany held only a one-point advantage. Late in the fourth, Senatobia had the ball until Barnes interception at the 3:01 mark helped seal the win.
“This week, we tried to get better in practice, and it all comes down to a person making a big play, and tonight it happened to be me,” Barnes said. “I have to give all the credit to Kachius Clay, because if he hadn’t been there, it would have never happened.”
The win is New Albany’s first in its new division, and Senatobia will not be the only new opponent the ‘Dawgs will face in its potential playoff run.
“We’re in a new division, and we didn’t know a lot about Senatobia besides the fact we would have to come out here and fight, and that’s exactly what we did,” Day said. “Offense did enough to win, and the defense did a fantastic job of getting us the win.”
“Very big win for our program and our kids to come out to Senatobia, a team our kids haven’t played before, stepping out in a new division and after the way we played last week, it was a great effort by our entire football team.” Price added. “Everyone played a part in this win. Coaches did a great job, and when we needed a big play, someone stepped up and made it. Can’t be more proud of our kids than I am right now just holding on for the big win.”