By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Eathen Rainey had the goods in overtime, and New Albany knocked off Lafayette County 10-7 in area high school football action on Friday night.
The win puts the Bulldogs (5-4, 3-0) in the driver’s seat in Division 2-4A. The Commodores, the two-time defending Class 4A champs, dropped to 7-2 overall, 2-1 in the division.
Perhaps just as important for New Albany, the win got the Bulldogs over the hump against a rival that had been a thorn in their side.
“It’s just big for our program,” New Albany coach Ron Price said. “Two years ago we were having our best season, and Lafayette came to our field and embarrassed us, ended our year. Last year we went to Lafayette and again got embarrassed. They were tired of getting embarrassed by them, came out and played a heck of a game and finally put an end to that streak.”
Price credited his defensive staff for a game plan and his players for the execution that nearly resulted in a shutout.
The Bulldogs were trying to get to the end with a 7-0 lead, but Lafayette got on the board when Brandon Mack passed 15 yards to D.K. Buford. The PAT made it a 7-7 game with 6:56 left in regulation.
After a scoreless first quarter, New Albany got on the board when Spencer Day passed 47 yards to Austin Howard 15 seconds before halftime.
The Commodores set up the overtime when Alex Michael and Colby Terrell combined to block Alex Harrison’s 39-yard field goal attempt with 1 second left in regulation.
That’s where Lafayette’s good fortune stopped, however.
The Commodores got the ball first in overtime but couldn’t score.
New Albany nearly ended things with a touchdown. When it didn’t, Price and his players had confidence in Rainey to finish the job.
“My quarterback came up to me after the third-down play and said, ‘Coach, it’s an extra point. Send Eathen out here, and let’s get this field goal.’ Our field goal team did an unbelievable job of blocking and giving Eathen a chance, and he put it through the uprights,” Price said.