Special to the Journal
NEW ALBANY – A pair of dazzling defensive plays by Rosa Fort likely ended any playoff hopes for New Albany.
Keitadrion Wortham returned a fumble 35 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter and Brandon Bryant later had an interception that turned back a rally by the Bulldogs in a 28-14 loss to the Division 2-4A leader on Friday.
“I feel sorry for our seniors that we couldn’t give them a win on senior night, but they gave everything they had,” said New Albany coach Ron Price. “The offense played the best ball game I think they’ve played all year.
“Tunica-Rosa Fort is the division champions this year for a reason. They’ve got a great football team.”
Devin Wilson rushed for 151 yards on 22 carries and had a pair of touchdowns for New Albany (4-6, 1-3).
The junior had two runs for 10 yards, another for 9 and finished with a 51-yard sprint in an 82-yard drive that pulled the Bulldogs within 20-14 with 9 minutes, 40 seconds remaining in the contest.
Wortham recovered a fumble and ran 35 yards to the end zone to put the Lions back up by two scores with 7:31 remaining.
New Albany followed with a steady drive, but it ended with the interception by Bryant that he returned from Rosa Fort’s 15 to midfield.
The teams traded turnovers after that, but the momentum stayed with the Lions (8-1, 4-0).
“We had a Mississippi State coach here tonight and three or four junior college coaches, because Rosa Fort has some athletes that are going on to play at the next level,” Price said.
Adrian Scott scored two touchdowns in the first half that helped the Lions take a 20-7 lead by the break. Scott scored on a 26-yard run on the opening drive of the night, and returned a kickoff 75 yards for a score to end the first quarter.
“We had been sleep walking a little bit, then the defense came alive and made plays,” said Rosa Fort coach Edwin Norwood. “We’ve got a lot of different guys contributing on both sides of the ball.”