Alan Watson’s 75-yard touchdown run with 5 minutes, 2 seconds remaining gave the New Albany High School football team breathing room, and the Eagles defeated visiting Big Walnut on Oct. 12 in an OCC-Capital Division game.
New Albany (6-2 overall, 5-0 in the OCC) amassed 423 yards of offense and held Big Walnut (5-3, 3-2) to 149 total yards, but struggled to break away in a hard-nosed game that featured only 21 combined passes.
New Albany’s Darron Lee intercepted the last one, picking off Big Walnut’s Carson Chatterton at the Big Walnut 33 on the first play from scrimmage after Watson’s touchdown.
New Albany was able to run out the clock.
“It was a very physical game and we knew we had to bust a big one to win it,” said Watson, who rushed for 148 yards on 17 carries. “It came down to the wire and the line did a great job blocking.”
Leslie Anokye scored from 2 yards to put New Albany ahead 7-0 within the first three minutes of the game. Trey Qullin added a 32-yard field goal in the final minute of the first half to make it 10-0.
Big Walnut opened the second half with an 11-play, 57-yard drive capped by Alex Clark’s 1-yard run to make it 10-6, but could not score again.
Struggles in the red zone will be a point of emphasis the next two weeks for New Albany, which finishes the regular season with games against Watkins Memorial and Mount Vernon. New Albany got inside Big Walnut’s 20 five times but came away with only 10 points.
“We don’t want our kicker kicking field goals. We want to get in the end zone,” New Albany coach Mark Mueller said. “We always talk about finishing and that’s something we’re going to emphasize the next few weeks and go back to the drawing board.”
Chatterton rushed for 68 yards on 12 carries to pace Big Walnut.
“(New Albany) ended up breaking us down,” Big Walnut coach Joe Weaver said. “The thing that’s so tough about them is they’re so solid up front. That line with those great athletes, when you consider that, our guys played a great game tonight to keep them in check.”
NA--Anokye 2 run (Quillin kick)
NA--Quillin 32 FG
BW--Clark 1 run (kick failed)
NA--Watson 75 run (Quillin kick)