Football Week 5 Recap

New Albany 45, Watkins Memorial 22

Tomi’s four touchdown passes propel Eagles over Warriors

By JEREMY STEWART
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Zach Tomi's four touchdown passes in the first half led the New Albany High School football team to a 45-22 win over visiting Watkins Memorial on Friday, Sept. 23.

Tomi's performance helped New Albany quickly overcome an early Watkins Memorial lead.

“We knew that Watkins was a caged animal,” said Tomi, whose team improved to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the OCC-Capital Division. “If they lost that would probably be it for them in the OCC. They kind of came out with the big kickoff (return for a touchdown) and we were like, 'No, we're not going to let them ruin our senior year. It's our homecoming.’”

Tomi might have had five first-half touchdown passes, but Kevin Collins fumbled on Watkins Memorial's 5-yard line after a 19-yard completion in the second quarter. The ball rolled into the end zone, where Adam Bodrick recovered it for a touchdown and a 14-7 lead with 10 minutes, 47 seconds left in the second quarter.

Bodrick had another big play after New Albany forced Watkins Memorial to punt on its next possession. He returned the Warriors' punt 65 yards to Watkins Memorial's 6-yard line. After a holding penalty, Bodrick caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Tomi to make it 21-7.

Collins found the end zone on the Eagles’ next two possessions, both on 15-yard passes from Tomi. The second came with 34 seconds left in the first half.

It appeared New Albany would lead 35-7 at halftime, but the Warriors fumbled a snap on their next possession. Emanuel Owusu-Antwi recovered to set up New Albany at Watkins Memorial's 19-yard line. The Eagles scored on the next play, a pass from Tomi to Carson Tunney.

“Just being a senior and being a leader, he just goes out and commands respect from the offense,” New Albany coach Mark Mueller said of Tomi. “Now he's throwing a good ball and he has a lot of weapons.”

The Eagles held Watkins Memorial to 47 yards rushing in the first half. Warriors quarterback Jake Hopson completed one pass in the half for 2 yards.

The lone spark for the Warriors was a 93-yard kickoff return by La'Trel Taylor on the game's first play.

“That was about it,” said Watkins Memorial coach Jeff Severino, whose team fell to 2-3 overall and 0-2 in the OCC-Capital. “I thought we just couldn't settle in on defense. (New Albany) did what they wanted to on the offensive side. We didn't have an answer for them.”

Hayden George led New Albany's rushing attack with six carries for 72 yards -- all in the first half. The Eagles finished with 268 yards on the ground.

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WATKINS MEMORIAL 7 0 7 8 -- 22

NEW ALBANY 14 28 3 0 -- 45

WM --Taylor 93 return (Lyon kick)

NA--Brittan 3 run (Gammill kick)

NA-- Bodrick recovered fumble in end zone (Gammill kick)

NA--Bodrick 15 pass from Tomi (Gammill kick)

NA--Collins 15 pass from Tomi (Gammill kick)

NA--Collins 15 pass from Tomi (Gammill kick)

NA--Tunney 19 pass from Tomi (Gammill kick)

NA--Gammill 42 FG

WM--Kemp 3 run (Lyon kick)

WM--Shroyer 1 run (Holton pass from Shroyer)
 

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