Mitchell County’s Anthony Murray tries to bring down Albany High’s Keiron Broussard Friday night at Hugh Mills Stadium. (Staff photo: Tim Morse)
ALBANY — Albany High coach Felton Williams paced the sidelines. He scowled, made faces and barked at his players.
Somewhere, you got the feeling it wasn’t a good night for the Indians.
Albany High staked itself to a two touchdown lead in the first half, then watched Mitchell County score 20 unanswered points en route to a 20-14 win Friday night at Hugh Mills Stadium.
The victory was Mitchell’s first of the season, while Albany dropped its second consecutive game.
“I’m just dumbfounded,” Williams said. “They wanted it more than we did. You’ve got to play four quarters. We played only two (Friday).”
The Indians (1-2) had no answer for the Eagles’ offense. With the exception of Mitchell’s opening drive of the second half, they scored nearly every time they had the ball. Twice on their game-winning drive, the Eagles (1-2) converted two key fourth down plays, the biggest when quarterback Bruce Bryant connected with receiver Troy Chester for 18 yards on fourth-and-13.
Chester hauled in the pass, inches from the sidelines. The catch helped set up Anfreenee Williams’ 1-yard scamper with 5:39 left.
“That’s a drill we work on in practice and it came in handy during the game,” Chester said. “Bruce told me to look for the curl, then look for the corner route. Bruce then bought some time and threw the ball.
“I had a feeling of where the sideline was.”
Williams also scored on a 9-yard run earlier in the fourth quarter, which was followed by Bryant’s two-point conversion run to tie the game at 14 with 11:54 left.
Williams said Chester’s catch killed any chance Albany had of winning the game.
“That was the pendulum that swung things in their direction,” he said. “We shouldn’t have given that up.”
It was a deflating setback for Albany, who used two Jonathan Jefferson touchdown runs in the first quarter to take a commanding lead. Jefferson scored on runs of 1 and 73. Meanwhile, its defense kept Mitchell County off the scoreboard until Williams’ 10-yard blast late in the second quarter made it 14-6.
On a night when Albany High retired the jersey of its famous player — defensive back Bobby Jackson — Mitchell County cooled off the Indians with its grind-it-out offense, while holding Albany to just 12 yards of total offense in the second half.
The Indians kept Mitchell County from scoring twice when it had the ball in the red zone in the first half. They allowed the Eagles to run some yardage but didn’t allow them to score until late in the first half.