October 7, 2012 1:12:15 AM
With any young football team, inexperience sometimes trumps ability.
For the New Hope High School football team's offense, its 19-0 loss to Hernando was one of the "down" nights.
Hernando (3-4, 1-2 Class 5A, Region 1) held New Hope to 58 yards on 34 carries. The Trojans compounded minimal success through the air with interceptions and sacks.
Sophomore quarterback Brady Davis (8 of 12, 122 yards) threw two interceptions and was sacked four times. He looked indecisive and paid the price for holding on to the ball, but his receivers left the field lamenting a string of drops in the second half.
"I don't know why things happened tonight," New Hope coach Michael Bradley said. "Brady is a good player. He's a sophomore, and with a young kid at that position, you're going to have up-and-down nights. I'll have to look at the tape and see, talk to him more, and find out what was going on. Hernando had a good game plan. Give them credit."
Through all of the hiccups, the Trojans trailed 7-0 at halftime. They'd squandered a shot inside Hernando's half just before the break when, in two plays, the offense failed to take a shot at the end zone. But unlike their drives in the first half, the Trojans moved the chains with a 14-play drive to the Hernando 16. Running back Q Newby came up short on fourth-and-3, and Hernando immediately put the game out of reach with a six-play, 86-yard scoring drive.
New Hope (2-5, 0-3) was 1 of 4 on fourth-down attempts.
"We didn't really do any adjustments, per se, but we knew we'd been our own worst enemy," Bradley said of the drive. "We talked about everyone doing their job, each individual contributing to the team. We just came up short on that fourth down play."
Newby finished with 56 yards on 15 carries. Stone Sisson had 78 yards on two receptions.
Hernando didn't complete a pass but racked up 309 yards on 60 carries. Dalton Crozier led Hernando with 128 yards on 17 carries. Bradley said his defense tired in the second half when Hernando did most of its damage.
Hernando's rushing attack didn't surprise Bradley, but its otherwise "clean" performance did.
"We just didn't make the plays tonight; Hernando did," Bradley said. "Every film we'd seen this year, they had interceptions, they had fumbles. They'd shot themselves in the foot a lot. Tonight, they didn't do that. Give them all the credit. We didn't play a good game.
"In this division, West Point is head and shoulders above everybody else, but everybody else is pretty even. You got to bring it every week in this division, and we didn't tonight."
New Hope, the only winless team in division play, will travel next week to Lake Cormorant.
1. Schaefer, MSU are 'heartbroken' no longer LOCAL COLUMNS
2. Starkville High's Perry shows his versatility HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Noxubee County will miss Patterson LOCAL COLUMNS