NEW ALBANY - The New Albany Bulldogs jumped on the Tishomingo County Braves with three first quarter touchdowns and went on to win in a rout at 56-7 in Division 1-4A football on Friday.
"I think we did a great job up front on both sides of the ball, we controlled the line of scrimmage and we were getting hard runs by our running backs and they did a tremendous job anytime we got the ball outside on the edge, they made plays there," New Albany coach Cody Stubblefield said. "We did a lot of really good things on both sides of the ball."
New Albany took their initial possession at their own 21 after forcing the Braves to punt. On the first play of the series, CJ Hill broke loose on a 77-yard run that gave the Bulldogs a first and goal at the Brave two.
Shamarquces Smith barreled in from the two and put the Bulldogs on the board with 9:55 left in the period. Caleb McDonald connected on the extra point for the 7-0 lead.
The Bulldog defense forced a quick three-and-out and the offense took over at the Tishomingo County 45 following the punt.
A.I. Nugent got free for a 35-yard run and set up the Bulldogs at the Brave 10. Isaiah Cohran took the ball in on the next play from 10 and the PAT made it 14-0 with 8:07 left in the quarter.
New Albany struck again late in the first quarter as Hill rambled in from 34 yards out and McDonald's kick made it 21-0. The play that set up the score was a 28-yard pass from quarterback Joe Mathis to Cohran.
Tishomingo County got their lone score early in the second quarter as Mason Daniel caught a 54-yard pass from Blake Counce and Scott Robinson added the PAT with 11:40 remaining in the half.
The Bulldogs drove 66 yards in eight plays to answer that score as Cameron Knox caught a 19-yard TD pass from Mathis.
The instrumental play of the drive was a fake punt on a fourth and two at the Bulldog 42. Nugent took the snap and powered his way for four yards and the first down to keep the drive alive.
The Bulldogs again only needed two plays to score their fifth touchdown of the night. Nugent ran 50 yards to give New Albany a first down at the Brave 16. Kody Atkinson ran it in on the ensuing play and McDonald tacked on the extra point for the 35-7 lead with 5:52 left in the half.
Artaveion High of New Albany intercepted a Brave pass to start the next possession. The Bulldogs then proceeded to drive 88 yards in seven plays as Nugent scored from 14 yards away. Nugent also had a 33-yard run during the drive.
The Bulldogs had an interception return for a score negated as time expired as Knox weaved through the Braves for the score, but a crack-back penalty was called and the teams went to the half with New Albany leading 42-7.
New Albany drove 51 yards in 10 plays for a touchdown in the third period as Hill carried it in from 13 yards out. Brian Romero added the extra point for the 49-7 lead with 7:04 left in the quarter.
Kaleum Shaw scored the game's final touchdown on his 44-ard run with 9:36 left in the game and Romero's kick gave New Albany the final verdict at 56-7.
The prime examples of the dominance for the Bulldog offensive line was the fact that Hill rushed for 253 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries. Nugent added 152 yards on nine carries including a touchdown.
'I was extremely proud of our effort, we are going to enjoy tonight and then focus on next week and make sure we are ready for Ripley," Stubblefield said. "We owned the line of scrimmage and I thought we played physical up there.
We were not complicated, we were 'here it is, stop it' and our guys did a great job of executing and that led us to being successful."
The win was a huge bounce-back for the Bulldogs after a disappointing loss at Corinth a week earlier.
"It's big and anytime that we are successful, we get our younger guys in and they see some success, that's a boost going forward and it's a really great thing," Stubblefield said. "We're not happy with our record, we're not happy with where we left the game with Corinth and we know that we are capable of playing with those guys and you know we'd love to run into them again."