NEW ALBANY • The New Albany defense pitched the shutout and the Bulldog offense provided the fireworks in a 42-0 win over the Ripley Tigers on Friday night.
“I think we just played smooth and effective on all sides of the ball,” New Albany coach Cody Stubblefield said. “Offensively, the first half we didn’t do anything but stop ourselves.
“We were running the ball with C.J. (Hill) and we were pounding the edges with the receivers, things looked good, but we fumbled the ball and also got a personal foul.”
The Bulldog defense, however, was steady all night as they kept constant pressure on the Tiger offense and only allowed Ripley to cross midfield on a couple of possessions.
“Our defense was lights out and you know, we’ve been really close to a shutout all year and finally got it tonight,” Stubblefield said. “Coach (Trent) Hammond, coach (Shawn) Sanks and coach (Kendall) Murphy had a great game plan together, and the kids went out and executed, played hard.”
New Albany scored twice in the opening quarter as Joe Mathis hit Cameron Knox for a 21-yard touchdown pass, and Mathis later scored on a 15-yard run for the 14-0 lead.
Hill scored just before the half on his 8-yard run, and Caleb McDonald’s PAT gave the Bulldogs a 21-0 lead at the intermission.
Hill broke free and ran for a 45-yard TD for the Bulldogs fourth score with 9:50 left in the third quarter.
A.I. Nugent plunged in from 4 yards out to give New Albany a 35-0 lead, and Mathis hooked up with Knox for a second touchdown pass of 40 yards to complete the scoring with 2:00 left in the third period.
New Albany will have a bye this week and then will return to 4A playoff action against the winner of Louisville and Caledonia.
Turning Point: New Albany put the issue to rest with 21 points in the third quarter, scoring all three touchdowns in a span of less than eight minutes.
Point Man: Hill rushed for 207 yards on 18 carries with two touchdowns.
Talking Point: “They were just better than us, they have a great running game and they are just better than us right now.” – Ripley coach Perry Liles
• Mathis threw for two touchdowns, both to Cameron Knox, and ran for another. He finished the game 11 of 12 passing for 146 yards.
• New Albany takes second place in Division 1-4A and finishes the regular season at 5-3, 3-1.
• Ripley finishes third in the division with a record of 3-6, 2-2.