After Big Walnut’s shutout and shutdown of New Albany 14-0 on Friday the 13th, the Eagles are likely to have nightmares about the Golden Eagles’ screeching defense.
New Albany couldn’t get anything going, time and again turned away on 3-and-out drives by Big Walnut on a night that celebrated new Wall of Fame honorees as well as Veterans. Among the standouts on defense were Sam Elliott, Luke Apple, Eli Myers, and Josh Hageman. They and the other BW defenders rendered NA as blank as the nearly-impossible-to-read numbers on their uniforms. Tyler Ronk’s good punting kept New Albany on their side of the field most of the time.
Not only was New Albany shut out, they barely got into the red zone. New Albany back Gabe Owusu-Antwi had his number called a lot, but the D kept him from breaking a big play. A field goal attempt fell way short and a drive where Big Walnut was called for two pass interference penalties was stopped in its tracks. Another foul was called on BW for a special teams player continuing to play when his helmet was off, resulting in a re-kick.
BW moved the ball well on its first few possessions, but couldn’t get any points until Nathan Lawyer scored on a two-yard run with 33 seconds to go in the first half. Tyler Shuster added the extra point and it was 7-0 at halftime.
Lawyer, who was used more as a short-yardage back, took it to the house with another two-yard jaunt after being set up by quarterback Ronk’s 35-yard keeper to make it 14-0 with 6:27 in the third.
The swarming, tenacious defense of BW preserved the shutout with a fourth down stop with a little over a minute to go.
Last but not least, the BW marching band showed just far they’ve come this season with their Madonna-themed halftime show; and Tammy Knight did her rousing Armed Forces medley prior to the game.
A longer version of this story will appear in print on Oct. 19.