New Albany’s season came to an end on Friday, but the Bulldogs fought hard throughout the 38-13 loss to Louisville.
The Bulldogs carried the momentum early on, as O.J. Hardin had an interception on Louisville’s opening drive. It only took one play for Spencer Day to find Austin Howard for the 20-yard touchdown, giving New Albany the early 7-0 advantage.
“You couldn’t have asked for a better way to begin the game,” Bulldogs head coach Ron Price said. “On defense, O.J. made a huge interception there, and then we scored on our first offensive play, so the momentum was definitely on our side.”
The Wildcats tied the game later in the first after Wyatt Roberts connected with Dontae Jones for the first of his three touchdowns in the first half. Roberts later hit Dalton Hudspeth on a pass to end the first quarter, setting the Wildcats up on the Bulldogs’ six-yard line to open the second quarter.
Cass Love put the Wildcats ahead on his touchdown early in the second, and after a New Albany fumble, Roberts found Jones once more, making it 21-7. The Wildcats scored twice more, taking a 35-7 lead into the half.
“Anything that needed to go Louisville’s way, did, and they were always in great position to make a play,” Price said. “When you get into a playoff situation like we were in tonight, you have to make the plays. Give credit to Louisville; take nothing away from their football team. Every time they needed to make a play, they did.”
Price challenged his team at the half to not give up, despite the deficit. The Bulldogs had turnovers on the first two possessions of the second half, but Boston Newsome had one more touchdown for New Albany to open the fourth quarter. Louisville ended the scoring with a field goal late in the game.
“For five years, we’ve never seen a kid in a New Albany uniform quit,” Price said. “At the half, things were not going our way, but we challenged them. I told them there is no such thing as a 28-point play, and we would have to come out and play every single play and get that first touchdown. I told them that if we could get that first score, we would take it one at a time after that.”
“What makes me proud is that they came out and played in the second half. I didn’t see one kid lay down. They gave it all they had for 48 minutes, and that says a lot about our football team and our coaches.”
New Albany ends the 2012 season at 8-5 (5-0), winning the Region 2-4A championship after entering division play at 2-4, and for the senior class, they accomplished winning 30 games over the last three seasons.
“This senior class is an unbelievable group of kids, and they’ve accomplished a lot over the last three years, winning 30 games and two district championships,” Price said. “They have so much character, and they’re so much fun to be around. They’ve led this team this year. When we were 2-4, we could have easily laid down, but the seniors didn’t let our guys do that, and they led us through the five weeks in division play. They’ve stuck together this season, throughout all of the battles.”