NEW ALBANY —
New Albany football coach Charlie Fields thought all three phases of his team’s game were clicking last Friday in the Bulldogs’ 33-26 victory over archrival Jeffersonville. It was New Albany’s first win over Jeff since 2010.
“We played a total team game,” Fields said. “We’re starting to prove that we’re more than just a one-trick pony. Our special teams was outstanding. [New Albany quarterback] Zach Donan had a good game passing the ball. It was just a total team effort.”
New Albany (5-2, 4-1 Hoosier Hills Conference) got another solid performance from its defense. Even though the Bulldogs gave up 345 total yards, including 328 passing yards, they forced three Jeff turnovers and put lots of pressure on Red Devil quarterbacks Jamal Britt and Cameron Northern.
One of the biggest plays by the New Albany defense came in the latter stages of the third quarter. Bulldog senior Jeffontae McClain intercepted a Northern pass and returned the ball almost to the Red Devil goal line. McClain had the ball knocked loose from his grasp, but New Albany senior Cameron Mason recovered the ball in the end zone to give the Bulldogs the 33-26 margin.
Bulldog place-kicker Vincent Falcone made his own personal contributions to the victory. The senior kicked two 44-yard field goals from nearly the exact same spot, which was the left hashmark, in the victory.
In addition to the field goals, almost each of Falcone’s kickoffs reached the end zone for touchbacks, which has been a common sight for New Albany this season.
“He’s been outstanding,” said Fields, who has seen Falcone convert field goals from 50 yards out in practice. “It’s comforting to know he can make those field goals because we know what his accuracy is. He is an assassin — he has ice water in his veins.”
— Staff writer Kevin Harris
OLDHAM HAPPY WITH NORTHERN, JEFF’S INTENSITY VERSUS BULLDOGS
Despite Friday’s loss at New Albany, Jeff coach Lonnie Oldham saw some positives from his players.
The first bright spot was the play of freshman quarterback Cameron Northern. He entered the contest in the second quarter for starter Jamal Britt and proceeded to complete 23-of-41 passes for 318 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions.
“He played pretty well. He did well in the second quarter. He came in and he [threw] it,” said Oldham, who mentioned on Monday that Northern probably will start this coming Friday at home against Class 4A No. 1 Columbus East and Britt is expected to play as well.
The second positive for the Red Devils (4-3, 3-2 HHC) was their intensity. Oldham said he has not seen that type of intensity from his troops since their 60-0 victory at Bedford North Lawrence on Sept. 6.
Oldham says Jeff must at least match that kind of intensity this coming Friday if it wants to compete with the Olympians.
“If we play with that type of intensity, we’ll be in it in the fourth quarter. If we don’t, it won’t be close,” Oldham said. “[Last Friday], the loss did not bother us because we played well. I was happy with our defensive effort. We played real well.”
— Kevin Harris
PIRATE D MAKES A STATEMENT
Coming into the season, Charlestown’s defense was expected to be one of the best units in the state.
After all, the Pirates had five shutouts and didn’t give up more than 18 points in any game during their first 12 outings last season. During a six-week stretch, including the three sectional games, Charlestown surrendered just 13 points total.
With most of his players back — and most of the offense gone — coach Jason Hawkins expected his defense to lead his team to low-scoring wins.
Instead, with the offense struggling and putting the defense in poor field position, the Pirates surrendered 64 combined points in season-opening losses to Madison and Brownstown Central.
Since those two losses, the Pirates had given up just 14 points and had three shutouts over four weeks — but that was against Clarksville, Silver Creek and Salem.
On Friday against then 5-1 Corydon Central, Charlestown’s D made a statement. It allowed the Panthers just 104 total yards, including only 32 to Corydon’s potent ground attack, in its fourth shutout in five weeks.
“Our defense continues to play well every week,” Hawkins said. “It is fun to watch them play.”
— Greg Mengelt
FLOYD BOUNCES BACK BIG AGAIN
Lopsided losses can often damage the psyche of a football team, causing confusion and self-doubt.
For Floyd Central, it seems a blowout defeat only serves to clarify things.
The Highlanders have suffered two losses this season, both in convincing fashion. They fell 62-16 to Louisville Male in their opener and 76-30 to Class 4A No. 1 Columbus East in Week 6.
After getting hammered by Male to start 2013, Floyd Central bounced back with a 60-34 victory over Providence, jump-starting a four-game winning streak that culminated with a 28-14 triumph over Jeffersonville.
Then came the demolition at the hands of Columbus East.
Repairs were made, however, in just a week’s time. Floyd Central regrouped Friday to post a thoroughly dominant 69-7 win over Bedford North Lawrence that saw the Highlanders play sharp football without a hint of carryover from the previous week’s thumping.
“Whenever you play a team like Columbus East, you have to fix everything that went wrong,” Floyd Central senior Brandon Stout said. “You have to come out the next week and forget about it. … You have to work on everything. We came out against BNL and ran the same play over and over again [an off-tackle run by tailback Gaige Klingsmith]. You have to get everything perfect.”
Floyd Central just about did Friday night, registering 552 yards rushing. The offensive line created gaping holes and the team’s rushers capitalized in the open field. Klingsmith, Gabriel Kennedy, Stout, Garry Posey and Blake Carl all rushed for more than 80 yards.
“We just started executing and Coach [Brian Glesing] saw it was working,” Kennedy said. “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”
But if it does need fixing, the Highlanders have proven to be quality repairmen.
— Adam Pruiett
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
• Owen Mattingly, Providence: Mattingly had 178 yards on just seven carries and scored four times in the Pioneers’ 67-0 win over Mitchell. In the past two weeks — his first two weeks as the Providence signal-caller — Mattingly had 357 yards and seven touchdowns in wins over Mitchell and Jeffersonville.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
• Jimmy Garcia, Charlestown: Garcia had a mind-blowing performance in the Pirates’ 35-0 win over Corydon Central on Friday, finishing with 12 tackles, including three assisted tackles, two quarterback sacks, seven tackles for loss and a forced fumble.
“Jimmy had one of the best games I have ever seen from a defensive lineman,” Charlestown coach Jason Hawkins said. “He was everywhere.”
OTHER WEEK 7 STARS
• Brandon Stout, Floyd Central: Stout played three different positions and helped the Highlanders to a 69-7 win over Bedford North Lawrence on Friday. Stout carried the ball three times for 74 yards, caught a pair of passes for 73 yards and a score and completed three of his four passes for 51 yards.
• Antonyo Gaddie, Clarksville: The Charlestown freshman had 151 yards on 21 carries and had touchdown runs of 22, 41 and 24 yards in the third quarter alone as the Pirates blasted Corydon Central 35-0.
• Vincent Falcone, New Albany: Falcone nailed two 44-yard field goals, including one that tied the game at 26 apiece in the third quarter of the Bulldogs’ 33-26 triumph over rival Jeffersonville.
• Cam Northern, Jeffersonville: The Jeff freshman came in during the second quarter and completed 23-of-41 passes for 318 yards and four touchdowns as the Red Devils fell short.
• Conner Johnson, Providence: Johnson carried eight times for 112 yards and a touchdown in Providence’s win over Mitchell.
• Brooks Howell, Silver Creek: Howell completed 13-of-22 passes for 187 yards and three touchdowns in the Dragons’ 31-28 loss to North Harrison on Friday.
• Ravon Wright, New Albany: Wright caught five passes for 101 yards and a score as the Bulldogs defeated Jeffersonville.
• Zach Donan, New Albany: Donan had one of the best games of his career, completing 11-of-22 passes for 155 yards and a touchdown in the Bulldogs’ win over Jeff.
• Isaiah Mack, Jeffersonville: Mack had 11 tackles and was instrumental in helping slow New Albany star back Tuwan Payton in the 33-26 loss.
• Austin Roberts, Eastern: Roberts completed seven of his 15 passes for 55 yards and ran for the Musketeers’ only score in a 57-7 loss to Salem on Friday.
• Kordell Sowers, Clarksville: The Clarksville sophomore led the Generals with seven tackles in Friday’s 57-6 loss to Brownstown Central.