September 29, 2013 1:12:04 AM
CLARKSDALE -- The New Hope High School football team took a step backward in its growth process Friday night.
New Hope saw a modest two-game win streak snapped in a 56-21 loss to Clarksdale in the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A, Region 1 opener for both teams.
"We want to get better each week, and when you don't that it is certainly disappointing," New Hope coach Shawn Gregory said. "I feel like we can be competitive in this region if we compete and do the things we are capable of doing."
Clarksdale (2-3, 1-0 region) built a 28-0 halftime lead. The Wildcats got early touchdowns from Chris Carpenter (29-yard run), Juntavius Gray (42-yard run), and Kevaun Johnson (3-yard run, 13-yard reception).
New Hope (2-3, 0-1) tried to answer with a pair long scoring drives. The Trojans broke up the shutout when Brady Davis hit Lee Brandon on a 20-yard touchdown. Davis capped the next march with a 3-yard rush. In the closing minutes, Davis hit Victor Deloach for an 80-yard touchdown.
New Hope will play host to Center Hill (1-4, 0-1) in another region game Friday night.
n Choctaw County 49, Caledonia 42: At Ackerman, the homestanding Chargers racked up 450 yards of total offense and held off a late rally by the Confederates.
For Choctaw County (5-1), Jamarcus Bradley had 30 rushes for 375 yards, with four touchdowns.
Ben Marchbanks paced the Confederates with four touchdowns, including two rushing scores and two passing scores.
Caledonia (2-4) will open Class 4A, Region 4 play Friday at Houston (0-6).
n Tuscaloosa Christian 38, Victory Christian 32, 3OT: At Cottondale, Ala., Anthony Sharp rushed for 116 yards and scored two touchdowns Friday night in the Eagles loss to their archrival.
Sharp scored on a 31-yard run and on a 39-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Reed Fulgham, who was 5 of 15 for 157 yards and three interceptions. Fulgham also had a 16-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Austin (two catches, 59 yards).
Will Jones had a 70-yard kick return for a score. He also had three interceptions.
Bo McCrary, Brandon Shaw, and Sharp each had 12 tackles.
Sharp's score and the two-point conversion sent the game into overtime. Neither team scored in the first two overtimes, starting from the 10-yard line. Victory Christian held Tuscaloosa Christian to the 1-yard line on fourth down but couldn't make one final stand to force a fourth extra session.
Victory Christian dropped a pass on fourth down in the first overtime, was stopped on the 1-yard line in the second OT, and was stopped on the 3- or the 4-yard line in the third extra period.
The game is the first of two regular-season meetings this year between the Christian Football Association members. This game didn't count toward the league standings.
The teams will meet again Oct. 18 in the regular-season finale on in Columbus.
Victory Christian will play next week at New Life.
n Immanuel Christian 16, Greenville Christian 6: At Greenville, the Rams took a major step toward reaching the playoffs with their second Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class A, District 2 victory.
With the win, Immanuel Christian improved to 3-3 and 2-0 in district play with one district game remaining (Oct. 25 at home against Deer Creek Academy).
KC Cunningham scored on an 8-yard run in the first quarter and on a 5-yard run in the third quarter.
Immanuel Christian finished with 312 yards of total offense, with 240 of those coming on the ground. Dawson Shaw ran 11 times for a team-high 101 yards. Cunningham had 18 rushes for 80 yards. Jay Jay Swanigan ran 12 times for 45 yards. Swanigan was 6 of 14 for 79 yards.
Cunningham also led the receivers with three receptions for 47 yards.
B.J. Shirley led the Rams with six tackles. Luke Hudson had five stops, while Reed Williams, Jaelin Bankhead, and Shaw each had four tackles. The Rams forced two turnovers - an interception by Shaw and a fumble recovery Kimarri Whitfield.
Immanuel Christian will play host to Park Place Christian Academy (0-5) Friday night.
n Delta Academy 22, Hebron Christian 16: At Marks, the Eagles trailed throughout and couldn't rally to overtake the homestanding Raiders.
Hebron Christian (2-3) will open district play Friday when it plays host to Strider Academy (0-5).
n Noxapater 43, East Oktibbeha 0: At Noxapater, the Titans dropped to 0-3 and 0-3 in Class 1A, Region 3-1A play.
Noxapater (4-2, 2-0 region) scored on four of its first five possessions and led 34-0 at halftime.
East Oktibbeha had 195 yards of total offense, but four turnovers helped seal a shutout fate for a second-straight week.
Senior Justin Williams led the Titans with 18 rushes for 143 yards. LaDavion Cannon rushed three times for 30 yards. Williams did have a 50-yard run. Williams was 1 of 4 pass for 45 yards. Cannon had the team's lone reception.
Williams was credited with 24 tackles. Marquise Brooks added six, while Aaron McCoy had four. Tyshon Spencer had 45 return yards.
East Oktibbeha will play host to French Camp (2-4, 2-1) on Friday night.
n French Camp 49, West Oktibbeha 6: At French Camp, the Timberwolves fell to 0-3 overall and in Class 1A, Region 3 play.
"We came into this game knowing French Camp was a great team with a high-octane offense," West Oktibbeha coach Danny Crawford said. "We are rebuilding with a lot of new guys. Nothing beats game experience, and we are slowly getting that Friday night after Friday night."
French Camp (2-4, 2-1) built a 42-0 halftime lead. The Panthers scored five touchdowns in the second quarter, with three of them coming off turnovers.
West Oktibbeha scored in the fourth quarter for its first touchdown of the season. Ryan Hughes threw a 44-yard touchdown pass to Kenyon Higgins. The Timberwolves also mounted another drive in the closing minutes but fumbled on the French Camp 1-yard line.
"Seeing the team play with a little confidence there in the second half is a good sign," Crawford said. "It was very important to score and have some good momentum to carry to the next game."
West Oktibbeha will play host to West Lowndes (2-3, 1-2) on Friday in another region game.
n Central Academy 44, Friendship Christian 0: At Macon, the Vikings improved to 2-4 with a dominating performance in their second shutout of the season.
Central Academy scored 26 points in the first quarter. In that opening period, T.J. Coleman scored on a 48-yard run; Coleman hit William Dawkins on a 9-yard touchdown pass and also hit Lee James for a 20-yard touchdown pass. Coleman scored a pair of 2-point conversions, while Russ Taylor added another.
Taylor scored on a 23-yard run in the second quarter. James would later add a 3-yard touchdown run and Dalton Outz followed with a 13-yard touchdown run.
Coleman led the Vikings with 81 rushing yards on three carries. Outz added 52 yards on three carries and Taylor had 44 yards on four carries. Nelson Robbins led the defense with three tackles and two interceptions. Jack Vandevender had a team-high four tackles, while Leshon Hill recovered a fumble.
Central Academy is open Friday and will return to action for a Homecoming contest with Calhoun Academy (3-2) Oct. 11.