Thursday, November 6, 2008
Indians end season with loss to Bulldogs
By BARRY BURLESON
Byhalia struck first Friday. But the bulk of the strikes the rest of the night came from the home team, New Albany.
The Indians lost 48-19 and finished a rebuilding season without a win.
“We opened up the game well, but we have to learn to be consistent,” said coach Markeith Washington. “We had a lot of bright spots. I was impressed with the play of our younger guys.”
The Indians got on the scoreboard first with 8:49 to go in the opening quarter. Pat Malone stood in the pocket and found Tavaris Neal over the middle. Neal reeled in the pass and completed the 52-yard touchdown connection. The extra-point try failed.
Then Eric Johnson went to work for New Albany. He did the bulk of the work on the 59-yard scoring drive, including the 6-yard touchdown run. Jonathan Lindsey nailed the kick, the first of six on the night.
New Albany took to the air for their next three scores.
“We were short-handed in the secondary,” Coach Washington said. “I had a starting cornerback who was injured and a safety who couldn’t play. New Albany took advantage. They had a very good quarterback. We had them in several third down situations and they made big plays on us.”
Drew Dodds hooked up with Kareem Brown for a 40-yard score at the 3:07 mark of the first quarter.
Byhalia had a chance to answer early in the second quarter. Malone threw to Jyrome Richmond, who caught it, was hit and fumbled. Teammate Chris Brown picked it up and ran all the way to the New Albany 17-yard line. Later Byhalia couldn’t convert on a fourth and four.
The Bulldogs padded their lead when Dodds tossed to Brown again, this time for 32 yards and six more points.
Disaster appeared to strike on the ensuing kick. Byhalia fumbled and New Albany recovered at the Indians’ 4. But on third and goal, Cornelius Blackmon snatched the ball from the grasp of a Bulldog runner and returned it 97 yards for a touchdown. The extra-point try was blocked. Byhalia had sliced the deficit to 21-12 with 3:43 left before halftime.
Dodds and Brown quickly went back to work for the home team with a long pass play moving the ball to the Byhalia 19. Then Dodds threw to William Frierson for the 18-yard score.
The Bulldogs added one more touchdown on the last play of the first half. Brown scored on a 5-yard run. It was 35-12 at the intermission.
Byhalia’s Marcus Franks picked off a pass to start the second half but the Indians couldn’t keep the momentum and had to punt.
Midway through the third quarter Ben Bolen intercepted a pass for New Albany and returned it 65 yards for a score.
The Indians’ final points came on a Pat Malone’s 5-yard pass to Darrell Malone with 3:43 to go in the third. Randy Holt kicked the extra point. They trailed 42-19.
New Albany, which finished season at 3-7, added a final touchdown on an 18-yard pass from Tyler Basil to Jaylen Mosley with 10:37 to go in the game. The extra-point kick was no good.
“We will take about a week and half off and then hit the weight room,” Coach Washington said. “We’ve got to get stronger in the offensive and defensive line if we’re going to win games in our league).”
He also plans to start a ninth grade (junior varsity) program next year.
“We had a very good seventh and eighth grade team at Byhalia,” Washington said. “Coach C.B. McClatchy did a great job with those kids. He’s a big asset, and I want to work with him and put together a good system.
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