Indians lose by three to Bulldogs

Byhalia came oh, so close to some long-awaited district delight Friday night.

The Indians went toe-to-toe with New Albany but lost 38-35 in the Region 1-4A contest. They’re still searching for their first district win since 2013.

“We’ve got to get the monkey off our back,” coach John Danley said. “We played hard, and that’s all I can ask for. We just fell a little short.”

It was a back-and-forth game.

The Bulldogs took the lead on Bryson Prather’s 4-yard run. Caleb McDonald added the kick. He was five for five on the night.

At the 11:54 mark of the second quarter, Charles Powell scored the first of his three touchdowns for the Indians, this one on a 3-yard carry. The extra-point try failed.

New Albany got its second-quarter touchdown on Prather’s 2-yard run.

Powell answered by reaching the end zone from 3 yards out. The conversion try was not successful.

Byhalia trailed 14-12 at halftime.

The teams swapped touchdowns in the third – each scoring twice.

For New Albany, it was Prather on a 3-yard run and Zack Ball catching a 13-yard pass from Loden Bolen.

For Byhalia, Jacoreion Crockett got loose for a 55-yard kickoff return to the end zone, and Terrance Davis scored on a 2-yard plunge. Daniel Williams kicked an extra point, and Powell cashed in a two-point conversion.

With 8:22 to go in the game, McDonald nailed a 35-yard field goal to give New Albany a 31-27 lead.

Seven minutes later, the Bulldogs padded their advantage via a 25-yard touchdown toss from Bolen to Ball.

The Indians didn’t quit. They got a late score on Powell’s 3-yard run, and he added the two-point conversion.

An onside kick after that touchdown was recovered by the Bulldogs.

“We knew that we let that game slip past us,” Danley said. “It’s just the small stuff.”

Byhalia dropped to 4-4 overall and 0-2 in the district. New Albany improved to 5-3 and 1-1.

“Defensively, I thought we played pretty well,” Danley said. “We gave up a couple of fourth-down conversions that hurt and a couple of big pass plays.

“They’d been averaging about 30 points a game so we knew we would have to match that offensively, and we ran the ball well.”

The district slate continues this week as the Indians travel to Senatobia on Thursday for a 7 p.m. kickoff. The Warriors are 3-4 overall and 2-0 in the district after a 42-13 win over Ripley last week. They beat New Albany 26-23 back on September 28.

“We just have to regroup and get ready to play a good Senatobia team,” Danley said.

Holly Springs South Reporter

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