By ARV KOONTZ
New Albany had the football for eight possessions during the first half of Friday’s Hoosier Hills Conference game at Seymour.
The Bulldogs scored on seven of those for 49 points, and they returned home with a 56-29 victory.
Bulldogs coach Charlie Fields said he was pleased the way his team performed at the start.
“I was very happy how we came up here and took care of business,” Fields said. “We were very efficient, very clean in the first half. Our first half, we couldn’t have scripted it any better. When we execute, we think we’re pretty good. I like how we came out right off the bus. It was a good half, good special teams, good offense, good defense. We’re not just a one-trick pony. All three facets of the game we try to be good at. We played a lot of backups in the second half, and everybody played.”
The Bulldogs were called for two penalties on their first possession, setting them back on the 5-yard line where Tuwan Payton took over and carried the ball 95 yards for his first of four touchdowns on the night.
Payton, who entered the game as the No. 2 rusher in the state, gained 223 yards to push his season total to 1,899 and increased his touchdown total to 23. He also scored on runs of 80, 9 and 4 yards later in the first half. All of his yardage came in the first half, and Fields played a lot of younger kids in the second half.
Fields pointed out that a lot of players contributed to the scoring as Ravon Wright caught a 24-yard pass from Zach Donan; Wright returned a punt 85 yards for a score; Donan scored on an 18-yard run; and Jeffontae McClain scored on a 21-yard run in the third quarter.
Vincent Falcone set a school record by going 8 for 8 on PAT kicks.
Freshman quarterback Jackson Morris led the Seymour offense with 171 yards rushing on 25 carries and one touchdown, and he also passed for a score.
The Bulldogs, who are now are 5-1 in the HHC and 6-2 overall, host Floyd Central next Friday. The Highlanders are 6-2 and 5-1 after Friday’s 54-30 win over Jennings County.
NEW ALBANY 56, SEYMOUR 29
New Albany 21 28 7 0—56
Seymour 7 0 0 22—29
NA—Tuwan Payton 95 run (Vincent Falcone kick), 10:06.
NA—Ravon Wright 24 pass from Zach Donan (Falcone kick), 7:39.
NA—Wright 85 punt return (Falcone kick), :48.6.
S—Elijah Toborg 1 run (Zach Schlatterer kick), 7:49.
NA—Payton 80 run (Falcone kick), 7:35.
NA—Payton 9 run (Falcone kick), 6:40.
NA—Payton 4 run (Falcone kick), 3:09.
NA—Donan 18 run (Falcone kick), :48.2.
NA—Jeffontae McClain 21 run (Falcone kick), 4:42.
S—Jackson Morris 1 run (pass failed), 11:11.
S—Schlatterer 10 pass from Morris (Schlatterer pass from Morris), 3:51.
S—Luke Dover 7 run (Caleb Monroe run), 1:06.
Seymour — Morris 25-171, Toborg 16-28, Stephen Holt 8-35, Luke Dover 2-6, Chase Dover 3-8, Monroe 4-13.
New Albany — Payton 12-223, Donan 5-47, McClain 8-70, Falcone 2-18, Wright 2-10, Derrick Craig 5-15, Lloyd White 2-7, Demetrius Watkins 1-(-2).
Seymour — Morris 10 for 19, 84 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions.
New Albany — Donan 2 for 3, 74, 1, 0; White 1 for 1, 10, 0, 0.
Seymour — Schlatterer 3-68, Toborg 3-8, C. Dover 2-4, Adam Bowman 1-8, Holt 1-(-4).
New Albany — Wright 2-74, Romarro Bradford 1-10.