Moments after a 17-0 win over visiting DeSales on Sept. 13, New Albany High School football coach Pat Samanich asked team statistician Chris Homan to rattle off a few numbers from the game.
The Eagles outgained the Stallions 456-112 and allowed only six first downs, but Samanich was equally interested in his team’s six fumbles — five of which were lost — and 13 penalties. It gave New Albany, which improved to 3-0, a clear idea of what it needs to clean up before its OCC-Capital Division opener Sept. 20 at home against Olentangy Orange.
“We beat DeSales, and I’ll take that win any day,” Samanich said. “We have to take care of the football, first and foremost. Penalties were very discouraging, and it was a lot of little things. … But I’m so proud of that defense. We challenged them before the game and they ended up throwing up a shutout.”
Each team committed two turnovers in the first quarter, and New Albany seized control with a 17-point second quarter. Senior running back Wyatt Johnston had a 5-yard touchdown run, classmate O.B. Oppong scored from 19 yards and sophomore Joey Rolwing added a 29-yard field goal with 38 seconds left in the half.
Poised to make it a four-score game midway through the third quarter, New Albany senior Trey Quillin fumbled at the goal line for a touchback. But the Stallions (1-2) consistently failed to capitalize. They advanced to the Eagles’ 10-yard line late in the fourth but could not score.
“Their defensive front just handled our offensive front, and regardless of what we were trying to run, it just wasn’t working,” DeSales coach Ryan Wiggins said. “Our guys played gutsy, but the offense didn’t do anything to help us. You can’t have a phase of the game not working when you play a team the caliber of New Albany.”
Eagles senior fullback Leslie Anokye had a team-high 79 yards on 14 carries as six New Albany backs recorded at least 25 yards and the team earned 315 on the ground.
DeSales junior quarterback Brandon Krietemeyer completed only one of 15 passing attempts for 42 yards and three interceptions. Senior running back Sayyid Kanu had 29 rushing yards on 11 carries.
“Our defense takes a lot of pride in itself and we know we can be pretty good. Giving up 50 points (last week at Westerville Central in a 57-50 win) didn’t sit well with us,” New Albany senior linebacker Hayden Hatten said. “The first series, we were still getting used to what they were running (the pistol and shotgun), but after that we had our stuff together. We watched a lot of film. We had them figured out pretty quickly.”
NA -- Johnston 5 run (Rolwing kick)
NA -- Oppong 19 run (Rolwing kick)
NA -- Rolwing 29 FG