VINEMONT – Good Hope and Vinemont faced off to start out the season on a wet field Friday night, but that did not bother the Raiders' running game one bit as they dominated from start to finish to take home a 41-0 win over the Eagles.
Good Hope started their first series at the 35-yard line and the running game wore down the Eagle defense. It took the Raiders six plays and 65 yards to put the first score on the board, with Matt Dixon scoring on a 1-yard run with 8:37 remaining in the opening quarter. It was 8-0 after the 2-point conversion. They stuck with the running game on their second series at Vinemont's 44-yard line, as Dixon, Bailey Quick, Matt Hancock, and Colton Bagwell, continued to gain big chunks of yardage, and Quick finished off the nine-play, 56-yard drive with a 1-yard score of his own to increase the lead to 15-0 with 3:27 left in the first.
After each team went empty on the next three possessions, Good Hope took over at its own 39-yard line after a bad snap on an Eagle punt attempt. Quick gained 19 yards on a third-and-8 to help keep the drive going, and he used his arm to finish it off, finding Kyle Carlton for a 25-yard score to widen the lead to 22-0 with 6:14 remaining in the first half. Good Hope found the end zone again on its next series as Hancock scored on a 6-yard run to increase the lead to 28-0, the score at the half.
On their first series of the third quarter, Dixon came out very determined, taking all 75 yards on the drive, all on the ground, including a 2-yard touchdown run to make it 35-0. After Will Dickerson picked off a pass on Vinemont's second series, the second-team offense went out on the field and Bagwell scored his first varsity touchdown on a 3-yard run to make the score 41-0. More younger players from both sides came in to get some playing time and continue. Despite being down, the Eagles continued to fight and play hard until the final whistle blew.
Quick went 9-of-14 for 111 yards and a touchdown, and added 45 more on the ground and a touchdown. Dixon finished with 136 yards on 13 carries and two scores. Hancock had 37 yards on eight carries and a touchdown. Bagwell had 31 yards on five touches and a score, as Good Hope rushed for 323 yards on the night. The Raider defense shut down Vinemont's offense the whole game, holding them to just 70 yards of total offense.
"The key to getting our running game going was seeing the offensive line getting low on their blocks, allowing our running backs to have big holes," Good Hope coach Alan Scott said. "I'm really proud of them. Bailey's got a great head on his shoulders, and he called a great game. He adds another dimension to our offense. Matt's a really great guy. He runs really hard and I'm very proud of him. Our defense was really flying around the ball tonight. We did have a couple of touchdowns called back because of penalties, and that's one area we have to clean up."
Scott sees some big things for Vinemont coach Stephen Robinson and his Eagle squad.
"He has this team believing in themselves," Scott added. "He has a lot of numbers playing for him, and they play really hard for him, and I believe that they will have a big year in 3A."
Both teams will start region play next week, as Good Hope hosts Fayette County in its home opener, while Vinemont takes a trip to Locust Fork, looking to bounce back after a rough opening game.
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