Coming off a loss a week ago, the New Albany High School football team regained its stride in a 63-21 win over visiting Franklin Heights on Friday, Oct. 7.
The Eagles needed less than a quarter to take control of the game against a Franklin Heights team that dressed only 18 players.
New Albany had three rushing touchdowns, a passing touchdown and an interception return to take a 35-0 lead after the first quarter.
“I like the way we came out and played at the beginning of the game,” said New Albany coach Mark Mueller, whose team improved to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the OCC-Capital Division.
For the Eagles, it was important to come out and play well after a 32-7 loss to Olentangy Orange on Sept. 30.
New Albany's Darron Lee sparked the route with a 77-yard interception return for a touchdown. The extra point made it 21-0 with 7 minutes, 2 seconds left in the first quarter. Also in the quarter, Zach Tomi had a 34-yard touchdown pass to Adam Bodrick and Kevin Collins had a 34-yard touchdown run.
With less than a minute to go in the first quarter, Dan Brittan scored on an 18-yard touchdown run on the way to a 35-0 lead. Hayden George opened the scoring with a 1-yard touchdown run on New Albany's first possession.
“We just wanted to make sure we got better,” said Brittan, who rushed six times for 133 yards and a touchdown in the first half.
Franklin Heights scored right before halftime on an 80-yard kickoff return by Sam Reed. The extra point by Angel Juarez made it 56-14.
The Falcons, who dropped to 1-6 and 0-3, also had an eight-play, 60-yard drive that was capped by a 35-yard touchdown run by John Pyles. The extra point made it 35-7 with 6:44 left in the second quarter.
Pyles led Franklin Heights with 84 yards rushing on 13 attempts. Franklin Heights quarterback Alex Lesley was 8-for-13 passing for 182 yards. New Albany amassed 343 yards rushing on 28 carries.
The game was shortened to eight-minute quarters in the second half.
After the win, New Albany quickly turned its attention to its next opponent, Big Walnut. A win over the Golden Eagles would bring New Albany into a tie for first in the OCC-Capital. Big Walnut improved to 6-1 overall and 4-0 in the OCC-Capital after defeating Delaware 42-13 on Oct. 7.
“It's really going to be really big,” Brittan said of playing at Big Walnut. “We're playing for first in the OCC-Capital for the third year in a row.”
FRANKLIN HEIGHTS 0 14 0 7 -- 21
NEW ALBANY 35 21 7 0 -- 63
NA--George 1 run (Gammill kick)
NA--Bodrick 34 pass from Tomi (Gammill kick)
NA--Lee 77 interception return (Gammill kick)
NA--Collins 34 run (Gammill kick)
NA--Brittan 18 run (Gammill kick)
FH--John Pyles 35 run (Juarez kick)
NA--Anokye 10 run (Gammill kick)
NA--Watson 51 run (Gammill kick)
NA--Anokye 36 run (Gammill kick)
FH--Reed 80 kickoff return (Juarez kick)
NA--Owusu-Antwi 7 run (Gammill kick)
FH--Pyles 7 run (Juarez kick)