It was a play the Bulldogs have turned to in the past, and it almost made the difference against Corinth on Friday.
Down 21-13 with six seconds remaining, Spencer Day threw to Chandler Nail, who then lateraled to Boston Newsome, and the senior ran in for the touchdown with no time remaining. Needing the two-point conversion to send the game to overtime, Newsome failed to reach the end zone one more time, giving Corinth the 21-19 win at Kitchens’ Field.
“We’ve had that play and used it three times and have scored with it three times, so what better time to use it tonight than right there,” NAHS Head Coach Ron Price said. “Chandler made a great catch and pitch, and it looked like he had two guys lined up on him there. Boston did a great job and made a great effort to get to the end zone.”
The Bulldogs were forced to go for two after having the extra point blocked on their previous touchdown, a one-yard run by Spencer Day earlier in the fourth.
“If we don’t miss the extra point, we’re kicking one there, hopefully going to overtime, but even on the two-point play, we have to be able to move three yards and get in the end zone there,” Price said. “It’s frustrating, because we work on extra points every day. It only takes one person taking a play off to mess that up, and that’s what happened. They shot a gap, and that’s what we do is gap protect. They made a play and we didn’t.”
Corinth scored first on a five-yard run by Robert White, and the Warriors’ defense held New Albany without a first down until the second quarter. Corinth added to its lead in the second on an 80-yard pass from Brady Allen to Brice Spence. Kachius Clay would put the Bulldogs on the board before the half on his touchdown run, making it 14-7 at the break.
“Corinth was just moving faster than we were in the first half, and in the second half, we got to executing the plays the way we’ve asked them to,” Price said. “It comes down to our guys being where they’re supposed to be, getting the block, maintaining the block and staying on that until the whistle blows. We have to do a better job of doing that.”
Corinth went ahead 21-7 after Antares Gwyn returned an interception by Day for a touchdown. Brady Barnes gave the Bulldogs life with 6:56 remaining, recovering a fumble at the Warriors’ 30-yard line.
“Brady’s an unbelievable player, and the leader of our defense,” Price said. “Our defense is coming together, and I’m really proud of the way he’s responded the last few weeks. We need some leaders to step up, and Brady’s been willing to step up and be a playmaker for us, and I appreciate his effort.”
On fourth and 28 of the ensuing drive, Day connected with Nail, who fell out of bounds at the one-yard line, preceding Day’s touchdown run. Price said he is proud once more of his team’s effort and not giving up after being behind late in the game.
“We’ve been in five 48 minute battles, so you’ve got to love our kids and their effort. I just wish we could be more consistent,” he said. “We do a good job of creating turnovers, then we just can’t move the ball into the end zone when we need to. I’m proud of our guys for battling until the end when it could have been easier to give up.”
New Albany (2-3) will travel to Cleveland (3-2) next week. The Wildcats lost to Cleveland East Side, 36-26 on Friday.