Boston Newsome continues to be the driving force for the Bulldogs’ offense, and it was his three touchdowns that put New Albany back in the win column, defeating Pontotoc, 21-14.
The Bulldogs trailed 14-7 entering the fourth quarter after Reid Tackett had an interception return for a touchdown for Pontotoc. Newsome would score from two-yards out to tie the game, and after holding Pontotoc on its ensuing drive, marched down the field once more for the senior’s third score with nine seconds remaining.
“It feels really great, but I have to give the credit to my offensive line,” Newsome said. “They got me where I need to go, and I have to give it to the fullback, O.J. Hardin. He blocked for me really well and played great in the backfield.”
“The offensive line and O.J. Hardin just kept pounding away to help Boston get those yards, and Spencer (Day) did a heck of a job,” NAHS head coach Ron Price said. “He took a shot by our sideline, and his shoulder was hurting him really bad. His teammates saw him in pain but continuing to fight, and they kept fighting for him. They came together at that point. I’m very proud of our team and their character and proud they were able to win this ballgame.”
Neither team could take advantage of early turnovers, and the Bulldogs could not score on its first two possessions in the red zone. Newsome broke the scoreless tie at the 10:15 mark in the second quarter, giving the Bulldogs the 7-0 lead.
“We had a lot of opportunities to get the ball in the end zone in the beginning, but we basically shot our foot off, and we didn’t make the play when it was there for us,” Price said.
A turnover by Pontotoc in the second quarter eventually set up a field goal attempt for New Albany, but the Bulldogs failed on the fake attempt and maintained the 7-0 lead at the half.
“I thought they would rush hard from the outside and Eathen (Rainey) could reach around to the outside and get to the end zone. I thought it was worth a shot to take it to the end zone. We probably should have let him kick the field goal knowing what we know now, but we were willing to take the chance there.”
Deonte Dilworth tied the game in the third quarter, breaking free for the long touchdown run, and both teams traded turnovers before Tackett’s interception return late in the quarter made it 14-7 in favor of the Warriors. The loss is the second straight for the Warriors, and the Bulldogs’ defense held the Pontotoc offense to its lowest point total so far this year.
“When we struggled on offense, the defense stepped up and made the plays they needed to and got a couple of big turnovers,” Price said. “I’m just proud of our guys for not giving up; they just kept fighting and trying to find ways to win the game.”
The win over Pontotoc is the second in three years, and the Bulldogs now look ahead to next week’s game at Amory.
“It feels great to win against Pontotoc,” Newsome said. “They’re a great team, we’re a great team, but we came out with the win.”