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New Albany set a goal to start the season with a win, and accomplished that mark, defeating Booneville 27-11 Friday night.
The Bulldogs struck first on their opening possession, as Tyler Basil found Taylor Goode on a 34-yard touchdown. The Blue Devils would add a field goal on their next drive, making it 7-3 at the end of the first quarter.
Basil and Goode connected again in the second quarter, this time on a 69-yard reception, making it 14-3. Goode finished the game with seven catches for 199 yards.
“I think we really woke up last week against Tupelo, and it carried over into this week. We kept it going,” Goode said. “Didn’t really wake up in the second half, but overall we had a good game tonight.”
“He gets better and better every week” NAHS head coach Ron Price added. “I hope some people are taking notice to how good the kid really is. He’s got great hands, great speed and he knows what to do once he catches the football.”
New Albany would add another score, on a five yard run by Kelvin Worship, going up 20-3. An interception by Riley Alef set up the Bulldogs’ final score, a four yard run by Josh Creekmore, making it 27-3 at the half. Alef finished the game with 12 tackles, five solo to lead the defense.
“Coach Kelly’s been telling me to drop back to my zone as fast as I could, I saw it and read it and was right there for me,” Alef said of his interception. “It was overall a good game, we’re 1-0, and that’s what we’re going for.”
The Bulldogs were silenced in the second half, committing three turnovers, while Booneville added a late touchdown by Xavier Rogers. Despite the turnovers, Price was pleased with how his defensive unit held together in the second half.
“They kept getting off the field like we asked them to, then we just kept putting them right back on the field,” he said. “They finally broke there, and that’s our fault for putting them in that position offensively, but overall I’m proud of our defensive effort. I thought they played an outstanding game.”
Basil finished the game 14-for-18 for 301 yards and two touchdowns, while Worship led the rushing attack with 54 yards on 12 carries. Zach Hand added eight tackles, five solo, for the defense.
Regardless of some early season mistakes, the Bulldogs are happy to be 1-0, something Price and his coaching staff have been working toward the last three seasons.
“It’s something we’ve work on for over three weeks now. It wasn’t the prettiest game, we came out and made some mistakes in the second half, but we’re 1-0 and you can’t be in any better shape than that right now,” Price said.
Goode added, “We’ve been talking about that since Noxubee County last year. We wanted to start 1-0, and we accomplished that goal tonight.”
The Bulldogs are now preparing for the home opener against Ripley Friday night.