Middle School Raiders Extend Winning Streak to 18 Games

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GOOD HOPE – Homecoming was celebrated by Good Hope Middle School Monday night at James Shabel Stadium.


The Raiders defeated the Hanceville Bulldogs 32-12 in a battle of county undefeated teams. Good Hope displayed balance on offense with 152 yards on the ground and 149 in the air for 301 yards total.


Good Hope's running game accounted for three touchdowns while the passing attack went into the end zone on a pair of throws.


Coach McDonald's Raiders are 4-0 and have won 18 straight games. That covers two and a half seasons. The Raiders handed the Bulldogs their first loss of the year in four games.


It was 8-0 Good Hope when the Raiders scored on the first snap from scrimmage. After recovering an onside kick, Austin Knight scampered 57 yards to the end zone and the conversion run from Matt Dixon put the 2-time Cullman County champions in front.


Hanceville took advantage of five Good Hope penalties the first time the Bulldogs had the football. Four offside penalties and a pass interference call accounted for 35 yards. It allowed the Bulldogs to score on a pass of eight yards from Alex Campbell to R.J. Evans on the first play of the second quarter.


The Raiders stopped the Bulldogs on the conversion and were still in front 8-6.


Good Hope's defense forced Hanceville to turn the ball over on downs the next two times the Bulldogs tried to move it deep into Raider territory. The job by the defense allowed the offense to extend the lead to 20-6 when the game reached halftime.


Dixon ran free for 39 yards with 3:27 to play in the quarter, ending a 57-yard drive. Then two passes by Preston Bagwell total 48 yards in a 61-yard drive. The first was a 27-yard hookup to Matt Hancock. That was followed by a 21-yard swing pass to Dixon and the Raiders took a two-touchdown advantage to the locker room.


After Sabine Peak was crowned homecoming queen, the Raiders got the ball to start the second half. In two plays, the Raiders scored again as this time it was a 70-yard pass from Bagwell to Matt Schwaiger that gave Good Hope a 26-6 lead.


Good Hope tacked on its final touchdown in the fourth quarter that finished off an 80-yard drive. Knight ran up the middle from nine yards out. The longest play in the series was Bagwell to Schwaiger for 31 yards and a first and goal from the nine.


It was 32-6 Raiders with less than four minutes to play in the game.


Hanceville came back and scored on a seven-yard pass by Campbell. The TD was set up by a 38-yard pass from Campbell to Evans who beat a couple of Raider defenders to the ball after they forced him to fumble. The score came with 1:41 remaining that narrowed the final margin to 32-12.


Bagwell was four of five in the passing department for 149 yards and two touchdowns. Knight ran for 82 yards and scored twice, Dixon had 67 rushing yards, 21 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Schwaiger gathered in two passes from Bagwell for 101 yards and a TD.


Evans amassed 107 yards of offense with 56 coming on pass receptions and 51 by the ground. He had one touchdown.


Good Hope faces another stiff challenge next Monday when West Point comes to Shabel Stadium. Hanceville tries to bounce back the same evening with a game against Vinemont.