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New Hope beats Clarksdale to clinch playoff spot


From Special Reports



CLARKSDALE -- The New Hope High School football team registered its second consecutive shutout Friday to clinch a Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A North Half State playoff berth. 


Tanner Ryals kicked a 28-yard field goal in the third quarter to lift New Hope past Clarksdale 3-0 in a Class 5A, Region 1, District 2 game. 


The victory helped New Hope (7-1, 4-1 region) clinch a playoff spot for the second year in a row. 


"It''s always a goal (to make the playoffs)," New Hope coach Michael Bradley said. "I''m real happy for our kids, our team, our school. We''ve just got to keep trying to get better and keep trying to improve every week and get better for the playoffs. Now we''re playing for seeding." 


New Hope shut out Saltillo 6-0 last week. 


Seth Stillman clinched the win when he forced and recovered a fumble on a quarterback sack and returned the ball to the Clarksdale 8-yard line with 1 minute, 34 seconds remaining in the game. 


New Hope quarterback Zak Thrasher kneeled down twice to run out the clock after Stillman''s fumble recovery. 


"Seeing how we just scored three points, it was real important (to get a shutout)," Bradley said. "We scored just enough points to win. We played a lot better on offense. We just didn''t capitalize on some opportunities that we had." 


Thrasher was 4 of 7 for 42 yards. He completed passes to four receivers, including a 25-yard pass to Johnny Beamon. 


Terrance Dentry led New Hope with 76 yards on 19 carries. 


Raymond Walters and Jeremy Wells each had 5 1/2 tackles, Franklin Richardson had five tackles, and Stillman and Kris Douglas had sacks in the fourth quarter to lead the defense 


New Hope will play host to Hernando at 7 p.m. Friday. 




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