OXFORD – Another football season, another dramatic win.
New Albany came out firing on all cylinders for their jamboree contest against the Kossuth Aggies, winning in a 14-12 decision after taking an early lead and never looking back.
For a team who averaged seven points per game last season, the two touchdowns are already an improvement for an offense who struggled to find the end zone in 2013.
“We are still in the same thing we struggled with last year, finishing ball games and finishing drives,” Bulldogs head coach Ron Price said.
Though New Albany found the end zone twice during the game, there were two other opportunities that slipped away, including a fourth down conversion gone wrong and a would-be touchdown pass slipping through the hand of a waiting receiver.
For any offensive woes, the Bulldog defense stood strong, holding the Aggies out of scoring in the first quarter with a goal line stand that kept New Albany with a 7-0 lead that ballooned to 14-0 after Eddie Barry’s two-yard rush for a score mid-way through the second quarter.
Bulldogs quarterback Bryce Collins and Kossuth quarterback Weston Bobo both ended the night with one interception each. Collins’ mishap arrived late in the game after two blown plays placed the Bulldogs deep in their own territory with 20 yards needed for a first down.
That interception set up the Aggies first points of the game, after a missed field goal in the first quarter.
Collins, however, connected early with reciever Braudrique Boyd for the Bulldogs’ first touchdown of the night.
Kossuth’s second round of points came from another Bulldog error, a sack fumble of Collins for a 72-yard return as time expired.
“We were just trying to get in field goal range there, trying to simulate a real game and we turned it over,” Price said.
The Aggies two-point conversion came up short with the running back pinned at the three yard line to give the Bulldogs the win.
“The exciting thing about tonight is that it doesn’t count, so it gives us a week to really improve on the things we messed up on. I’ll brag on the kids for the things we did right, we’ve got seven new starters on defense and that was the first time most of them have seen a varsity field and we’ve incorporated a whole new offense….you don’t want to be too negative, because we did some things right….if we can continue to improve week to week, this team is headed is the right direction,” Price said.
With a win under their belts, the Bulldogs turn their attention to the official season opener – an Aug. 22 road game against Water Valley.
The Blue Devils finished with an 11-2 season in 2013, including a 38-13 win over New Albany in the opener.
Water Valley opened their season with a jamboree win at Ole Miss, defeating New Albany’s Sept. 19 opponent Corinth 14-13.