On Friday night at BNL Field, New Albany senior running back Tuwan Payton and the Bulldogs’ defense picked up where they left off from last week’s 55-6 home victory over Jennings County.
Payton rushed for 273 yards on 20 carries and scored five touchdowns as New Albany blanked host Bedford North Lawrence, 48-0. Payton recorded single-game school records in rushing yards (390) and touchdowns (seven) versus the Panthers last weekend.
“He’s really taking to our scheme. He reads it so well and our line blocks it so well,” New Albany coach Charlie Fields. “Our offensive line starts with our center Braxton Bragg. He sets all of our protection and makes all of our line calls. Obviously, Tuwan is huge, but Braxton is 1-A on offense.”
As for the Bulldogs’ defense, it posted its second shutout of the season as it now has allowed five points per contest this season. New Albany entered Friday’s game with the second-best scoring defense in Class 6A.
Three Payton running plays at the game’s outset got New Albany on the board first.
Following runs of 18 and 26 yards, Payton made a 12-yard touchdown scamper 37 seconds into the contest to put the Bulldogs up 7-0. New Albany (3-1, 2-0 Hoosier Hills Conference) had a chance to extend its lead on its third series of the game. But after Payton ran 49 yards on a stretch play to get the ball down to the Bedford 14-yard line, he fumbled the pigskin on the next play to give the ball to the
Later in the first quarter, Bedford (0-4, 0-2) went on a drive to get the ball to the New Albany 31. But on fourth-and-1, Stars’ quarterback Chandler Nicholson got the ball accidentally knocked out of his hands by running back Matt Shoufler while faking an option handoff. Payton’s second score occurred with 8:02 remaining in the second quarter.
Following a 12-yard TD run by Payton, he rushed 38 yards to the end zone on first-and-10 to give New Albany a 14-0 advantage. The Bulldogs squandered another opportunity to add onto their lead on their next series. After New Albany drove the ball to the Star 8, Bedford junior Matt Shoufler intercepted a pass in the end zone by Bulldog quarterback Zach Donan. But the Stars could not take advantage.
The Bulldogs blocked a punt deep in Bedford territory that placed the ball at the Bedford 4. After a delay-of-game penalty, Payton made a 9-yard TD run to put the Bulldogs up 21-0 with 3:18 left in the first half.
Then Nicholson got intercepted by Bulldog senior defensive lineman Javier Santiago, giving New Albany the ball at the Bedford 14. From there, Payton hit paydirt for the fourth time to increase the Bulldog lead to 28-0.
After a Stars three-and-out to start the third quarter, Payton had a 55-yard TD run on New Albany’s first play of the second half to up the advantage to 35-0.
The Bulldogs’ final two scores were a 25-yard TD run by wide receiver Ravon Wright on a jet sweep in third and a 31-yard TD scamper by back-up quarterback Lloyd White on a keeper in the fourth.
New Albany will travel to Class 4A No. 1 Columbus East next Friday in a battle teams that are currently 2-0 in the Hoosier Hills. The Olympians beat Jennings County 63-10 on Friday.
NEW ALBANY 48, BEDFORD NORTH LAWRENCE 0
New Albany 7 21 13 7—48
Bedford 0 0 0 0— 0
NA — Tuwan Payton 12 run (Vincent Falcone kick), 11:23.
NA — Payton 38 run (Falcone kick), 8:02.
NA — Payton 9 run (Falcone kick), 3:18.
NA — Payton 14 run (Falcone kick), 2:55.
NA — Payton 55 run (Falcone kick), 9:49.
NA — Ravon Wright 25 run (kick failed), 8:18.
NA — Lloyd White 31 run (Falcone kick), 4:54.