Junior tallies 218 yards, three touchdowns in win
The 93rd meeting between longtime rivals New Albany and Jeffersonville proved to be a one-sided affair Friday night, as the Bulldogs cruised to its 50th win in the series – a 42-14 rout of the Red Devils at Blair Field.
Junior running back Darquan Richardson paced New Albany, as he’s done all season, with 218 yards and three touchdowns. The Bulldogs improved to 5-2 – 4-1 in Hoosier Hills Conference play – and now lead the all-time series with Jeffersonville (3-4, 3-2) 50-38-5 dating back to 1904. Richardson, at 5-foot-9, 165 pounds, carried the ball 37 times.
“The strongest muscle in that kid’s body is his heart, man,” New Albany coach Sean Coultis said. “He wants the ball. … I think he’s embracing that lead role.”
GALLERY: New Albany tops rival Jeffersonville
Sophomore quarterback Dylan Clark completed 11 of 20 attempts for 99 yards and two touchdowns, one a five-yard strike to sophomore Devon Gummer and the other a 15-yard touchdown to senior Davin Alexander. Alexander finished with 77 yards on six catches, all in the first half.
The Bulldogs’ defense, without a number of its starters, held Jeffersonville to just 197 total yards, 123 from junior Kam Fuller on just five carries.
“They have some great kids,” Coultis said. “All kinds of weapons, so I think you just try to limit them as much as you can.”
The rivals traded scores early on, as the Bulldogs covered 53 yards in nine plays for a touchdown to open the scoring, capped by a five-yard touchdown pass to Gummer from Clark on a successful play-action set. New Albany’s two-point conversion try – a fade route to Alexander – was good to make it 8-0 before the Red Devils responded.
A three-play scoring drive after a big return by Fuller on the ensuing kickoff opened scoring for the hosts. Senior Jordan Barnett ran in the two-yard touchdown and Jeffersonville trailed 8-7 – until Richardson made his presence felt seconds later.
The junior took a handoff 73 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the Bulldogs’ second drive, and New Albany led 14-7 after a failed two-point conversion. The visitors forced a punt on the following possession and turned in a 12-play, 53-yard drive to make it 20-7 after another failed conversion. Richardson scampered in for the five-yard score, his second of the first half.
After the Bulldogs’ first punt and back-to-back empty possessions by the Red Devils – one a failed fourth-down conversion from the New Albany 14-yard line – Clark orchestrated a last-minute scoring drive to make it 26-7 at halftime. The Bulldogs went 69 yards in nine plays, capped by a 15-yard touchdown pass to Alexander on fourth and one.
Clark completed 10 of 16 passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, while Richardson totaled 139 yards and two scores on 23 carries.
The Bulldogs carried over their momentum to the second half, as they recovered an onside kick – their first of three in the half – to open the third quarter. Richardson later found the end zone for the third and final time from three yards out to make it 34-7 with 10:54 left in the third.
Fuller then gave the Red Devils life via a 73-yard touchdown run with 2:14 left in the quarter, but junior receiver Quasim Perkins took a reverse three yards for a touchdown on the Bulldogs’ ensuing possession with 9:45 remaining. New Albany then recovered another onside kick, squandering Jeffersonville’s chances.
The Bulldogs welcome Seymour next Friday, while the Red Devils travel to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for a meeting with HHC power Columbus East on Saturday.
New Albany : 14 – 12 – 8 – 8 – 42
Jeffersonville: 7 – 0 – 7 – 0 – 14
N – Devon Gummer 5 pass from Dylan Clark (two-point conversion good), 8:16
J – Jordan Barnett 2 rush (Jordan Kahn extra point good), 7:01
N – Darquan Richardson 73 rush (two-point conversion failed), 6:45
N – Richardson 5 rush (two-point conversion failed), 10:21
N – Davin Alexander 15 pass from Clark (two-point conversion failed), 0:09
N – Richardson 3 rush (two-point conversion good), 10:54
J – Kam Fuller 73 rush (Kahn kick good), 2:14
N – Quasim Perkins 3 rush (two-point conversion good), 9:45