September 14, 2013 5:22:02 PM
BY DAVID MILLER
Special to The Dispatch
Five minutes into the game, Jason Dickerson could smell blood in the water.
The New Hope High School receiver, taking part in his final Lowndes County rivalry match against Caledonia High, had just gotten warm. He'd caught his first pass in a drive in which New Hope took a 7-0 lead.
Caledonia's linebackers and defensive backs were gassed, though.
The Trojans went on to score on five straight drives before the half, capitalizing on a blistering no-huddle pace before closing out with a 51-0 win Friday at New Hope.
"We were wearing them out from the second drive," Dickerson said. "All we do is run and run. We're on that conditioning tip, so it's like horses and dogs - out-running them real good."
Five different New Hope players logged 25 or more rushing yards, but the passing game is where the Trojans (1-2) made their money.
Quarterback Brady Davis scored threw for five touchdowns and ran for another in the rout. The junior finished 17 of 24 for 306 yards and didn't throw an interception. Davis had scoring passes of 44 and 56 yards to Victor Deloach, who led the game with eight catches for 152 yards.
"Caledonia didn't want to press up," Deloach said, "so we took advantage."
New Hope's combination of quick, three-step drops for short swings and hitches and deep post and corner routes kept the Confederates on their heels.
Dickerson's 80-yard touchdown haul late in the second quarter was on a deep post, one in which he ran by the corner and raced past two more players en route to the score.
"They were giving it to us," Davis said, "and we executed what we ran."
New Hope coach Shawn Gregory said the passing game had been slowed down by drops and inconsistent receiver play in earlier weeks, including against Starkville in their preseason jamboree. Aside from a pair of drops - including a sure-fire scoring strike to Ryan Dye - Gregory lauded his receivers' performance Friday.
"I tell them often, if you want us to be a passing team you better catch the ball consistently," Gregory said. "They got on a roll tonight and kept it going."
Caledonia (2-2) entered the game on a two-game winning streak, but after playing against teams in a lower classification, coach Andy Crotwell was worried about New Hope's balanced attack and pace. Crotwell said he tried to simulate the Trojans' pace by throwing "two huddles" at his defense in practice this week.
"I was worried it would be a shock to our system a little bit," said Crotwell. "I don't know if I did a very good job of simulating that in practice this week. The toughest thing was getting the calls in a timely fashion. Of course, they have a good system and throw a lot of plays at you.
"We're going to fix the mistakes we had, from the coaching staff on down."