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The Bulldogs are back to the basics this week as they prepare to travel to Baldwyn this Friday night.
New Albany is off to their best start since 1996, as that was the last year the Bulldogs opened the season at 3-0. This week they will look to win their second straight over the Bearcats, with NAHS winning 2009’s contest, 31-12.
“Watching film on them, they’re a lot like Corinth in their speed,” NAHS head coach Ron Price said.. “They’ve got great skill guys, but they’re not very big on the offensive and defensive lines. Booneville and Saltillo both had success running the ball at them, so we’re going to try to continue with that and take advantage of our running game.”
The running game has seen a new face step up so far this season in Kelvin Worship, but Bulldog fans watched as Kareem Brown picked up his first rushing touchdown the season against Corinth.
“It felt real good and it felt good to be back on the team after being hurt,” Brown said of his touchdown. “That’s what football is all about, getting back out there and playing as a team. The team really encouraged me and told me I would be alright, and when I scored, they were right there with me.”
Price hopes that the Worship-Brown duo will open up the passing game, an area that struggled last week.
“A good running game opens up the passing game, and that’s an area we struggled with last week,” he said. “We’re hoping to come out this Friday and throw the football. We’re going to try to run the ball first, and hopefully that will open up our passing game.”
The ‘Dawgs will also work on staying focused, as they have hit several polls throughout the state. NAHS is ranked 24th among all schools in the state, 1A-6A, as well as 4th in the Mississippi Scout Prep poll and 5th in the Clarion Ledger’s poll, both specifically for 4A teams.
“From day one, we’ve challenged our guys to take it one game at a time, and they’ve done a really good job of buying into that,” Price said. “With Ripley being such a big rival, I was afraid of there being a let down last Friday night. Last week has hopefully given us a wake up call and we’ll go back to being focused and we can make it to 4-0 and continue being successful.”
For Brown and the offense, doing the little things will help to get them back to where they were in the first two games of the season.
“We’re going to work on the basics; holding on to the ball, tucking and running, just simple things that you would learn in middle school that we didn’t execute last week and we’re going to try to correct that.”
NAHS will take on Baldwyn Friday night at 7:30 p.m.