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New Albany traveled for a preseason scrimmage, evaluating this year’s team before their season opener next week.
Several mistakes plagued the Bulldogs in the 13-6 loss to Kossuth, particularly on offense, as they were close to scoring in the first half, but a bad snap followed by a delay of game penalty caused a major setback after a long pass play from Spencer Day to Josh Hardin placed New Albany in the red zone.
Kossuth connected for their first touchdown with less than two minutes before the half, leading 6-0 at the break and added their second score with 2:36 remaining to go ahead 13-0. Hardin followed that with a touchdown for the Bulldogs off a pass from Marcus Reed.
“It was great to come out tonight, play someone different and see where we stand as a football team,” NAHS Head Coach Ron Price said. “We talked about it all offseason and in practice, we can’t put ourselves in positions to make mistakes. That’s what we did tonight, and thankfully it was a scrimmage and we can go home tonight, correct our mistakes, see it on film and come out on Monday.”
“It’s Ripley week, so our kids should be excited about that. It’s the first game of the season, and we have a lot of things to clean up between now and Thursday night. If we get our attitudes right and prepare ourselves the way we’re supposed to, we have a lot of time to fix our mistakes and get out there against Ripley and be successful.”
Price noted the youth on offense, and Day and Reed split time at quarterback, with Day taking all of the snaps in the first half and Reed seeing playing time in the second.
“It’s just a group of guys that have to grow as the season goes on. We were making mistakes, and we can’t do that. We would make a big play, then turn around and make a mistake, and as a football team that’s going to be a good football team, you can’t do that,” Price said. “Things that we weren’t doing last year are things that we’re going to have to eliminate. We have to work to make good things happen, and it will once all 11 guys on the field are doing their jobs to the best of their ability.”
New Albany now looks ahead to their Thursday night season opener at Ripley. The Tigers are the only opponent the Bulldogs will face outside of Class 4A this season, and bragging rights are again on the line, as the ‘Dawgs hope to win three in a row in the series.
“Ripley is our big rival, and our seniors want to go out with a win against them,” Price said. “It’s a huge opportunity for us to go out and win three in a row. It’s going to all come down to how we prepare on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and see how we come out on Thursday. We have a lot of heart and a lot of character on this football team, so we’ll get back tonight and our coaches will look at the film, and we’ll get to correcting our mistakes on Monday.”
Kickoff for the Ripley game is set for 7:30 p.m.