WEST POINT – A close game for the first half became a domination by the West Point Warriors in the second half Friday night against the Good Hope Raiders.
The Warriors carried the ball into the end zone five times on seven second-half possessions, running away from the Raiders 50-6 to get their record even at 4-4 and go 3-1 in games played at West Point Stadium.
West Point utilized good field position in the final half with field position starting on average between the Warriors' 35-yard line and in and past midfield.
A 21-point third quarter blitz on three big plays broke the game wide open, with the Warriors moving a 15-0 lead at the half to 36-6 when the period ended.
Following a scoreless first quarter with the Good Hope defense forcing the Warriors to turn the ball over two times on downs deep in Raider territory, West Point forced the game's first turnover that set up a touchdown play on the following snap.
After defensive end Austin Smith ripped the ball from Raider quarterback Preston Bagwell at the Good Hope 47, the Warriors went for the big play with Kolton Easterwood going deep to Brandon Farley for the touchdown and a 2-point run by Cameron Moore for an 8-0 lead at 9:58 in the second quarter.
The Warriors then pushed the lead to 15-0, ending a 75-yard drive on a 37-yard run off right tackle by fullback Alex Hernandez and the extra point from Steven Rodriguez.
On the second play of the third stanza, Easterwood threw a screen pass to Moore who raced 53 yards to the end zone. Rodriguez booted the conversion and the lead for the Warriors grew to 22-0 less than 90 seconds into the third.
Good Hope had to punt and the Warriors got a return from Hunter Persall of 22 yards to put the ball at the Raiders' 44. Moore then blasted through the middle for his second TD in a span of two minutes and the Warriors led 29-0 when Rodriguez kicked the extra point.
The third drive for the Warriors in the quarter ended on an interception of an Easterwood pass by Matt Hancock. But on the fourth series, the Warriors went to the air again as Easterwood launched a 63-yard strike to Farley and West Point extended the advantage to 36-0. Rodriguez tacked on the conversion with 4:41 remaining in the quarter.
Good Hope lost Bagwell and Matt Dixon to injuries in the third quarter. But the Raiders never stopped playing. A 67-yard drive featuring three completions by Hancock reached the West Point end zone when Kyle Carlton got behind the secondary and made a spectacular catch of a 34-yard pass. The conversion failed and the Raiders trailed 36-6 with a quarter left to be played.
Coach Don Farley used his reserves to finish the game and they responded with 107 yards rushing in the fourth quarter. Noah Allison ran it in from the 11 with 8:49 to go and the kick from Rodriguez sent the Warriors to a 43-6 margin.
Stopping the Raiders on downs at the West Point 49, the Warriors concluded their scoring with a solid drive featuring running back Brayden Martin. Martin scored on a 6-yard run and collected 47 yards rushing in the quarter on eight carries.
West Point finished with 468 yards of total offense, 280 rushing and 188 in the passing attack. They finished with 20 first downs, but were penalized 11 times for 90 yards.
Moore got 125 yards on the ground, 53 receiving for 178 total yards and two touchdowns. Easterwood completed 6 of 10 passes with two touchdowns and an interception.
Farley enjoyed a good night of four receptions for 117 yards and two touchdowns.
Good Hope had 153 yards of offense, 82 in the second half after having 71 by halftime. Hancock was 4 of 7 for 73 yards and a touchdown. The Raiders gained just 30 yards by ground, six first downs and had only one penalty for two yards.
Dixon caught a pass from Hancock on a halfback option for 20 yards in the second quarter. But the sophomore was kept under wraps and left the game in the third with an ankle injury.
Carlton caught three passes for 83 yards and a touchdown while Hancock had a 12-yard reception to go with 73 yards in his four pass completions.
West Point hosts Curry next Friday. A win by the Warriors gives them the No. 3 seed from 5A, Region 6 for the playoffs.
Good Hope will go home and welcome the Dora Bulldogs to James Shabel Stadium for a 4A, Region 6 assignment.
Copyright 2016 Humble Roots, LLC. All Rights Reserved.