Tuesday, October 3, 2017

FOOTBALL: Huge plays lift New Albany past rival Jeff 49-35

NEW ALBANY – Big plays are always critical factors in the annual Jeffersonville-New Albany game.
Last Friday at Buerk Field, the host Bulldogs made two huge plays in the fourth quarter to earn their second consecutive victory over the rival Red Devils, 49-35. New Albany, which was celebrating its Senior Night, extended its lead in the all-time series to 51-38-5.
“It was a good win for our program and New Albany High School. We’ll enjoy it this weekend and start our fall break off right and get ready for Seymour (next Friday),” said first-year Bulldogs’ head coach Steve Cooley, who was Jeff’s head coach from 2000-09. “I was proud of our poise and our offense. We tried to not let the chattering of a big game (affect us). It got a little snippy on both sides. We’re not innocent in that regard. We’ve got to learn to overcome and play through that.”
In the first quarter and a half of the contest, it appeared that New Albany (4-3, 3-2 Hoosier Hills Conference) was on its way to a blowout win. The Bulldogs built a 27-7 lead with 6:33 left in the second quarter.
Following a 19-yard run by New Albany senior Darquan Richardson that placed the ball in the red zone, he made a 13-yard TD scamper at the 9:38 mark of the first quarter to put the Bulldogs up 7-0.
The Red Devils (2-5, 2-3) responded with a six-play scoring drive. The possession ended when sophomore quarterback Shaun Wimberly Jr. connected with junior wide receiver D’Andre Rutherford on an 18-yard touchdown pass with 6:40 left in the first, trying the score at seven.
The deadlock only lasted 20 seconds. On the opening play of New Albany’s second series, Richardson raced 60 yards to the end zone at the 6:20 mark to put the Bulldogs up 14-7.
After the New Albany defense forced a Jeff three-and-out, the Dogs put together an eight-play drive that concluded with a 37-yard TD run by Richardson with 47 seconds left in the first, giving New Albany a 21-7 advantage.
In the second period, the Bulldogs made a long 12-play, 84-yard series that resulted in another Richardson TD. This time, the standout running back had a 1-yard touchdown scamper with 6:33 left in the first half as New Albany went up 20 points. Bulldog place-kicker Austin Wate missed the extra point.
The key play in the drive was a 49-yard run by freshman Austin Oppel that put the ball inside the Jeff 20-yard line.
The game’s momentum swung the Red Devils’ way with less than a minute left in the second. With 52 seconds remaining, Rutherford caught a 20-yard TD pass from Wimberly to cut Jeff’s deficit to 27-14.
The Red Devils got the ball first in the third quarter and took full advantage of it. Jeff went on a seven-play scoring series that ended with a 1-yard TD run by senior back Kam Fuller at the 8:28 mark, pulling the Red Devils within six points.
The Bulldogs drove the ball to the Jeff 15 on their next possession. But the Red Devil defense answered by making three tackles for loss, forcing New Albany into a fourth-down situation. On fourth-and-18 at the Jeff 23, Bulldog quarterback Dylan Clark tossed the ball to junior running back DeTre Payton. But Payton was 7 yards short of the first down, giving the ball back to the Devils.
The defensive stop set up a huge scoring drive for Jeff. With 19 seconds left in the third, Fuller grabbed a screen pass from Wimberly and sprinted up the left sideline for a 47-yard touchdown reception, giving the Red Devils their first lead at 28-27. Fuller’s score concluded an eight-play, 88-yard series.
Jeff head coach Alfonzo Browning felt at the point in the game that the Red Devils had a full grasp on the contest’s momentum.
“It’s always good to score right before the half, especially when you get the ball back (at the start of the second half). It kind of gives you some momentum,” Browning said. “But if you paid attention to the game, the momentum started coming our way in the second half. Our defense started playing well. We were moving the ball and we got down there and scored. That’s always good. A lot of times, especially in football and basketball, too, you’ve got to ride the momentum as long as it takes you.”
A long pass play helped set up New Albany’s next TD early in the fourth. On third-and-long, Clark hooked up with junior wide receiver Devon Gummer on a 61-yard reception to put the ball at the Jeff 2. Richardson took care of the rest by running into the end zone with 10:51 left in regulation.
After the Bulldogs got called twice for false starts on the two-point conversion try, they finally earned two when Oppel snagged a pass from Clark to give New Albany a 35-28 lead.
The Devils fired back, though. They drove 49 yards on 10 plays, resulting in a 1-yard TD rush from Fuller to deadlock the score at 35 at the 5:44 mark.
But after that, it was all New Albany.
Oppel made an unbelievable catch while fighting off two Jeff defenders and running 75 yards to paydirt to put the Bulldogs up 42-35 with 3:58 remaining.
“He’s a tough kid. He’s a great football player and he’s going to be one of the best kids to come through New Albany,” Cooley said. “We’ve got him for the next three years plus, so I’m happy about that. He works really hard.”
The New Albany defense sealed the triumph with 2:13 left. Bulldog senior defensive back Luke Kaiser intercepted a Wimberly pass and returned the pigskin 65 yards to the end zone.
Cooley lauded his defense afterwards.
“Our defense came through at the end. I was proud of the effort that they made,” Cooley said. “We started two freshman linebackers tonight against Kameron Fuller. Brendan Sandven and Austin Oppel did a great job out there. When you have a couple of ninth-graders out there playing a (Class) 6A team and getting some stops, you’ve got to be proud of those kids.”
Richardson collected a game-high 256 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 36 carries. He had 215 yards and four scores in the first half. Clark was 4-of-5 passing for 155 yards.
Fuller had a productive night for Jeff. He led the Red Devils in rushing with 178 yards on 29 carries and tallied three touchdowns, two coming on the ground. Rutherford made five receptions for 68 yards and two scores.
Wimberly wound up completing 15-of-23 passes for 244 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Browning thinks Wimberly will keep on improving as Jeff’s signal-caller.
“If I’ve got a young player and he’s good, I’m not afraid to play him because the only thing that is going to happen is he’s going to get better,” Browning said. “The best way to get better in any sport is game experience.”
Despite losing to the Bulldogs for the second year in a row, Browning was happy with the Red Devils’ effort.
“Even though we lost, I was proud to be here tonight,” Browning said. “This was a heck of a high school football game. It was a well-fought game between two rival teams. Unfortunately, we came out on the losing end. I’m definitely proud of our guys – there is no question about it.”
Jeff and New Albany will each have HHC games at 7 p.m. this coming Friday. The Bulldogs will visit Seymour (3-4, 2-3), while the Red Devils will host Class 5A No. 4 Columbus East (6-1, 5-0).

Jeff                        7  7  14    7-35
New Albany       21  6    0  22-49
First quarter
NA – Darquan Richardson 13 run (Austin Wate kick), 9:38.
J – D’Andre Rutherford 18 pass from Shaun Wimberly Jr. (Seth Scott kick), 6:40.
NA – Richardson 60 run (Wate kick), 6:20.
NA – Richardson 37 run (Wate kick), :47.
Second quarter
NA – Richardson 1 run (kick failed), 6:33.
J – Rutherford 20 pass from Wimberly (Scott kick), :52.
Third quarter
J – Kam Fuller 1 run (Scott kick), 8:28.
J – Fuller 47 pass from Wimberly (Scott kick), :19.
Fourth quarter
NA – Richardson 2 run (Austin Oppel pass from Dylan Clark), 10:51.
J – Fuller 1 run (Scott kick), 5:44.
NA – Oppel 75 pass from Clark (Wate kick), 3:58.
NA – Luke Kaiser 65 interception return (Wate kick), 2:13.

1 comment:

  1. I really appreciate your work which you have shared here about the Football match. The article you have shared here is very informative and the points you have mentioned are very helpful. If anyone looking for the Today Match Prediction Site, sport-bet2010 is good for you.