Big plays help Indians take care of New Albany

By SCOTTY NICHOLS
Sports Editor

NEW ALBANY – When the Indians traveled to Union county

PHOTO BY SCOTTY NICHOLS I BUY AT PHOTOS.ITAWAMBATIMES.COM IAHS senior wide receiver Caleb Whittle hauls in a 68-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Austin King on the Indians' first play from scrimmage at New Albany last Friday night. Whittle has five catches for 216 yards and two touchdowns in the first two games of the 2016 season.

PHOTO BY SCOTTY NICHOLS I BUY AT PHOTOS.ITAWAMBATIMES.COM
IAHS senior wide receiver Caleb Whittle hauls in a 68-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Austin King on the Indians’ first play from scrimmage at New Albany last Friday night. Whittle has five catches for 216 yards and two touchdowns in the first two games of the 2016 season.

last Friday night, they started on the right foot and never looked back.

Big plays proved to be the determining factor in a game that saw penalty flags flood the field from start to finish.

On the first play from scrimmage against the New Albany Bulldogs, senior quarterback Austin King took a flea-flicker pitch back from tailback Lamarcus Rhodes and hit senior wideout Caleb Whittle for a 68-yard scoring strike to give IAHS a 7-0 lead less than twenty seconds into the contest.

The big strike paid dividends because it gave the Indians a cushion they needed, due to penalties – which accounted for more than 100 yards against them.

New Albany threatened midway through the first quarter, moving the ball with short screen passes against the IAHS defense, but defensive end Vince Hughes stopped the Bulldogs in their tracks with a fumble recovery at the Indian 35 with just under six minutes left in the opening quarter.

IAHS struggled to move the ball because of penalties, and couldn’t piece together a drive until senior David Lacy broke a huge run in the second quarter that proved to be a back-breaker for the homestanding Bulldogs.

Lacy took a handoff, split the heart of the New Albany defense and broke loose for a huge 61-yard gain before he was dragged down at the Bulldog 4 by a couple of pursuing defenders.

The big run set up a four-yard plunge from Rhodes, who trucked a Bulldog safety that had hopes of making a tackle at the goal line.

IAHS led 14-0 after the score, with just under eight minutes to play in the first half.

With penalties still plaguing the Indians, offense was hard to sustain without the aid of the big play.

Fortunately, for coach Clint Hoots’ squad, one more was still in the tank to help put the game out of reach.

King tossed a beautiful ball up the seam to receiver Jaden Smith for a big 37-yard touchdown pass to give the Indians a 21-0 lead with just over a minute to play in the half.

In the second half, the Indian defense finally broke and gave up their first touchdown of the season, when New Albany tailback Jordan Lipsey took a screen pass and scampered into the endzone from 16 yards out midway through the third quarter.

PHOTO BY SCOTTY NICHOLS I BUY AT PHOTOS.ITAWAMBATIMES.COM IAHS defensive end Vince Hughes blasts New Albany running back Jordan Lipsey to force a fumble.

PHOTO BY SCOTTY NICHOLS I BUY AT PHOTOS.ITAWAMBATIMES.COM
IAHS defensive end Vince Hughes blasts New Albany running back Jordan Lipsey to force a fumble.

Offensively, the flags kept raining and killing IAHS drives, but the defense stood their ground and didn’t give up anything the rest of the way to preserve a 21-7 victory.

King finished the night 9-of-15 passing for 160 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while Rhodes eclipsed the 100-yard mark with 135 rushing yards on 18 carries with a touchdown.

Whittle hauled in two passes for 77 yards and a score, while Smith pulled down three catches for 66 yards and a touchdown.

Two miscues in the first half potentially kept two touchdowns off the board for IAHS.

The Indians lost a pair of fumbles inside New Albany’s red zone – one of them at the goal line.

“One of those fumbles looked like a touchdown,” said Hoots. “We took a look at it on film on the sideline, and Austin (King) was in. He was lying in the endzone from the waist-up with the ball in his hand, then somebody knocked it loose.”

The penalty flags also posed a problem for the Indians.

“We couldn’t really get in a rhythm,” said Hoots. “It seemed like there was a flag every other play. We need to fix a few things, but we feel great about starting the season 2-0.”

The Indians will host Saltillo this week, with kickoff set for 7:00 on Friday night.

scotty.nichols@journalinc.com
Twitter: @ScotNic24

About Scotty Nichols

Graduate of THE University of Mississippi. #HottyToddy. I like sports. And BBQ.

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