Good Hope bested by Cordova, 26-14


GOOD HOPE – There's an old saying: If you can win the turnover battle, you have a good chance to win the ballgame. The Raiders lost the turnover battle, with six for the game, and fell in regional play to the Cordova Blue Devils, 26-14.

Good Hope started out strong on its first series as Matthew Dixon gained 33 yards on his first two carries of the night, but the offense stalled after that, forcing the Raiders to punt. During the punt, Matt Hancock felt something pop in his knee, and was done for the rest of the game. The Blue Devils struck quickly on the first play of their series from the 34-yard line, as Demetrius Kirk found Kolbi Fuqua for a 66-yard touchdown to put Cordova on the scoreboard. After recovering the kickoff, Fuqua's pass was intercepted by Preston Bagwell, but the Raiders were forced to punt once again.

Cordova's Javion Hill was a factor early on in the drive as was Jeffrey Mayes, and Kirk's legs gave the Raider defense fits and so did his arm as they went on an amazing 17-play drive that started from the last part of the first quarter to a little bit into the second. Hill finished it off with a 2-yard touchdown run to give the Blue Devils a 12-0 lead. After each team punted on its next drive, Good Hope got the ball on the 47-yard line, and Bailey Quick and Dixon got it going on the ground gaining 29 yards on the first three plays. Then Quick found Matt Schwaiger for a 24-yard touchdown pass to cut the deficit to 12-7.

After getting the ball back by recovering the onside kick, the Raiders looked to take the lead, but Quick fumbled the ball at the 1-yard line, and Cordova recovered, but the Raiders forced them to punt. Then, Dixon lost the ball on the second play of their next series. Cordova scored on just four plays when Mayes found a hole and scampered 35 yards for the score to give the Blue Devils a 20-7 lead with 1:10 remaining in the first half. But Good Hope struck on its next series, finding the end zone in just four plays; Quick powered through the end zone for a 1-yard score to cut the deficit to 20-14, which was the score at the half.

The Raiders forced a Blue Devil fumble and Dylan McDonald recovered the ball to start out the third quarter, but Hill intercepted a Quick pass. Mayes and Hill continued to wear down the Raider defense as they gained all 64 yards on the drive, and Hill finished off the drive with a 32-yard touchdown run to make the score, 26-14, with 6:19 remaining in the third quarter. Dixon fumbled once again on the next series, but the defense held Cordova scoreless on the next series and for the rest of the game. The Raider offense, even though they had some good plays late, either punted or turned the ball over for the rest of the game.

Final score: Cordova 26, Good Hope 14

Hill finished with 82 yards on 19 carries and two scores, plus an interception. Mayes had 111 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown. Kirk went 6-of-10 for 116 yards and a touchdown, plus 28 more on the ground. Cordova improved to 2-3 on the season and 2-1 in region play.

Quick went 5-of-10 for 100 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions, adding 111 more on the ground on 21 carries and a touchdown. Dixon finished with 101 yards on 16 carries. He, along with Riley Kilpatrick, Dylan McDonald, Tucker Putman, Peyton Hill, Kyle Carlton, and others played a good game on defense, forcing a pair of Blue Devil turnovers. The Raiders fell to 2-2 on the season and 1-2 in the region. They will face off next against Cold Springs in their homecoming game.

"The guys played really hard out there," Good Hope coach Alan Scott said. "But we can't be negative in the turnover battle. We have to learn from this. I'm still really proud of them for continuing to play hard out there. We are continuing to preach to them: next play. We had plenty of opportunities, but we will learn from this and move forward to play a big county game against Cold Springs next week."

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