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Richardson Jr. plays key role for New Hope

 

By Ray Hollivay Sr.

 

Games usually don''t turn on one play. 

 

Typically, a handful of ingredients work together to lift one team past another. 

 

Franklin Richardson Jr. made sure that formula didn''t apply Friday night. 

 

The senior running back corner back did a little bit of everything, catching a touchdown pass, making a game-changing interception, and running for another score to help the New Hope High School football team beat Lake Cormorant 21-0 in a Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A, Region 1 game at Trojan Field. 

 

"I thought tonight was our best overall team performance," New Hope coach Michael Bradley said. "Our offensive group did a real good job. We played without Terrance Dentry tonight and we had several other guys who were banged up, and I thought they came out and gutted out a really good win against a really good team." 

 

Richardson Jr. rushed only six times for 57 yards, but his effort was part of a team effort for the Trojans (4-3, 2-1 region), who played without Dentry, their senior running back, who was injured last week on the first play of the game against West Point. 

 

Richardson Jr. caught a 59-yard pass from quarterback Zak Thrasher in the second quarter to open the scoring. 

 

That''s when Richardson Jr. helped turn the tide for good. With Lake Cormorant (5-2, 2-1) moving into position for a score that could have given them the lead before halftime, Richardson Jr.''s interception instead helped set the Trojans up for a score. After a sack set New Hope up for a third-and-12, Richardson Jr. broke free for a 32-yard run that was just what the home team needed.  

 

"I thought the play right before halftime, the pick by Frank Richardson was a big play," Bradley said. "He returned it into scoring position and then he scored on the run. I thought that was a big momentum changer. It was 6-0 and they are driving for the potential go-ahead score and we get the pick and end up going up 14-0 at halftime. I thought that was huge." 

 

Lake Cormorant coach Nick Nester agreed. He praised the play of New Hope, but said his team didn''t deliver. 

 

"We had too many mistakes, missed alignments on defense, turnovers on offense," Nester said. "For some reason, we played our worst game of the season tonight. We just didn''t come ready to play. 

 

"New Hope, considering all of the things that happened to them this week with their tailback (Dentry) going out, the kids came out and played hard and made plays. They''re a good team, and they just stepped up." 

 

New Hope answered the call on defense. Bradley credited assistant coaches Dale Hardin, Jacob Owen, and Matt Keith for devising a game plan and his players for executing that scheme. 

 

"I can''t say enough about our defensive performance," Bradley said. "They have some playmakers over there, and the kids did a great job of executing it." 

 

Lake Cormorant rushed for 110 yards and threw for 126. The Trojans capitalized on three interceptions and a fumble. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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