The New Albany Bulldogs begin their potential state championship run with a tough road test at “The Hollow” at Pontotoc High School.
The Warriors began 2019 rough with an 0-4 start, but surged in winning six of their last eight on the way to the playoffs. The team ousted rival North Pontotoc from the playoffs but fell to Louisville in the second round.
Brice Deaton and Conner Armstrong split quarterback duties last year, combining for twelve touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Jemarkus Whitfield will carry the load in the backfield for this team as a senior. He carried the rock 145 times for 839 yards and seven touchdowns.
The question for the offense comes in the receiving core. Cade Armstrong is the leading returner with only 145 yards gained last season.
The defense loses a good amount of production, but there is still plenty of talent for the Warriors.
Marty Reel returns as a senior with 55 tackles in 2019. Jay Jackson also returns 40 stops worth of production for Pontotoc.
As for the Bulldogs, they come into 2020 with championship aspirations and a squad capable of doing so.
They do lose Charlie Lott, but they bring in Ripley transfer Joe Mathis to lead the offense under center.
The ground game has potential to be one of the best in the state. Leading rusher C.J. Hill returns from last season, and Myrtle transfer A.I. Nugent will also get plenty of carries after dominating the 1A ranks last season.
The offensive line returns great talent and experience. Isaiah Cohran also returns as the leading receiver for the Bulldogs.
As for the defense, it also is stacked at almost every position. Nugent brings outside linebacker depth along with his prowess at halfback.
Jackson Formsma returns after leading the team in tackles last season with 77. Shamarquces Smith also returns after posting 48 stops a year ago.
After the talent Corinth lost in its state championship run in 2019, this division seems to be the Bulldogs to take, but they will still be challenged at every point.
The matchup between the Bulldogs and Warriors looks to be one of the best in the area, and it will surely set the tone in the early going for both teams.