- Special Sections
- Public Notices
In the final two minutes of a close game, New Albany came out of a timeout and attempted a fourth down play in the red zone that could have given them a tremendous boost against one of their biggest rivals. As the ball went from Spencer Day and slipped through the hands of Riley Alef, it was that play that described the Bulldogs’ entire night, as they suffered a 20-6 setback to Pontotoc.
Missed opportunities plagued the ‘Dawgs throughout, including an interception by Day on the opening possession of the third quarter with New Albany trailing 13-6.
“We had opportunities tonight, we just couldn’t cash in and we couldn’t make the big play when we needed to,” NAHS Head Coach Ron Price said. “Just the little mistakes here and there, and our guys competed for forty-eight minutes tonight. Pontotoc’s got a great team, and this is a great rivalry. I just hate we’re on this side of it. Our kids competed and worked hard to prepare themselves, we just have to execute the plays when they’re given to us.”
The Warriors opened the game with a touchdown by Deonte Dilworth on their first offensive play. It would take the Bulldogs until the second quarter to answer, as they successfully executed on a trick play from Day to Josh Hardin, who tossed to Boston Newsome for the score. Missing the extra point, New Albany found themselves down 7-6 before Rashad Dixon found Shaquille Crayton on the following drive, and a blocked extra point made it 13-6 at the break.
With the score remaining the same throughout the second half, the ‘Dawgs had two chances in the third to respond, but the interception and a turnover on downs at the Pontotoc 15 yard line kept the game in favor of the Warriors, and Dixon added a late touchdown to seal the win.
“Coming in, we knew exactly who we had to stop,” Price said. “They had a big play the first play of the game. After that, we did a pretty good job on containing them, and then at the very end, Dixon was able to break another long run. We knew exactly how good those guys are, and if Dilworth gets free, he’s going to run. After the first drive, I thought our guys did a good job of containing them, and Pontotoc turned the ball over a few times, giving us opportunities.”
The loss is the first in the regular season for New Albany since losing to Shannon on October 23, 2009. Next for the ‘Dawgs (2-1) is another tough home contest against Amory (2-1), who suffered a 14-7 loss to Aberdeen this week.
“We’re going to continue to find out the character our kids have. Sometimes you have to get knocked down to realize what you’re doing sometimes, so we got knocked down tonight, and we’ll start back Monday preparing for Amory,” Price said. “This hurts. We haven’t tasted this in a long time, and it was a goal of ours to go undefeated on our home field, so we have to protect our home territory.”