Good Hope falls 20-13 to Haleyville in critical regional bout

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GOOD HOPE – Good Hope's play-off hopes were hanging by a thread when the Raiders hosted Haleyville Friday night. It was a battle throughout the whole game, but Haleyville came out on top, 20-13.

After each defense forced a punt to start the game, the Lions started their second drive in excellent field position at the 33-yard line. They kept the ball on the ground behind tough yards by Jarred Tucker, Jackson Kennedy and Ty Black. They faced a third-and-7 at the 20, and Scott McAlpine found Tucker over the middle for a 20-yard score with 4:50 remaining in the opening quarter to put Haleyville on the scoreboard. The Lions struck again after a three-and-out by Good Hope, when Morgan Long and Tucker had huge receptions for first downs during the drive, and Black finished the six-play, 31-yard drive with a 5-yard scamper to give the Lions a 13-0 lead with 1:04 remaining in the first.

Good Hope looked to get something going on offense. A key catch by Kyle Carlton on second-and-10 from the 25-yard line gave the Raiders 12 yards and a big first down. Will Dickerson got another first down during the drive as they looked to continue the momentum, but on a fourth-and-1 from the 44-yard line, Bailey Quick got stopped for no gain, and Good Hope turned the ball over on downs.

The Raider defense forced the first turnover of the game when Matthew Dixon laid a big hit on Black after he caught the ball, forcing a fumble, and Mason Moniz recovered it. But the Raiders turned the ball over on downs on the next drive. Dixon intercepted a McAlpine pass on the next series at the 30-yard line. On a second-and-11 from the 31-yard line, Quick found Carlton over an outstretched Lion defender for a 30-yard reception, and Quick scored on the next play to cut the deficit to 13-6, which mirrored the score at the half.

Good Hope came out fired up to start the second half, as a hard-fought run by Dixon and a 10-yard pass from Quick to Carlton put the Raiders close to midfield at the 41-yard line, but they went backward after that, as a Dixon 2-yard reception, followed by back-to-back sacks by the Lion defense, forced them to punt. Haleyville tired out the Raider defense on the ground behind McAlpine and Kennedy. McAlpine completed big passes to Taylor and Nichols Sadler, but a touchdown run by McAlpine was taken away because of a block in the back penalty. The Lions found the end zone later in the drive on an 8-yard end-around run by Tucker to stretch their lead to 20-6 with 2:53 remaining in the third.

Colton Bagwell gave Good Hope a big boost on the ground, gaining 52 yards on three carries, including a 48-yard run, to put Good Hope at the 22-yard line. A few plays later, on a fourth-and-7 from the 19-yard line, a pass interference call gave the Raiders new life, and after a false start on the next play, Quick scrambled out of the pocket and found Dickerson over the middle for a 14-yard touchdown pass to make it a 20-13 game with 11:45 remaining in the contest.

The Raider defense got a big stop after Bagwell sacked McAlpine to force a turnover on downs, but they turned the ball over on downs themselves on their next drive. The Raiders forced a missed field goal on their next defensive series and Good Hope had a chance to tie the game on its final series. After Quick got sacked for a 5-yard loss, the Raiders quickly turned the ball over on downs and Haleyville kneeled the final minute to end the game, along with Good Hope's play-off chances.

Final score: Haleyville 20, Good Hope 13

McAlpine finished 15-of-19 for 167 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Black had 16 rushing yards and a score, plus 29 receiving yards. Tucker had 62 yards on three receptions and a score, plus a touchdown on the ground. The defense sacked Quick three times on the night.  Haleyville improves to 3-4 on the season and 2-2 in the region. The Lions will head home to take on Dora next week.

Quick finished 5-of-11 for 70 yards and a touchdown, plus 20 more on the ground and a touchdown. Carlton had 42 yards on two catches. Bagwell finished with 57 yards on six carries. The entire Raider defense played another great game, forcing two Lion turnovers. Good Hope falls to 3-4 on the season and 1-4 in region play. The Raiders will be at home next week against West Point.

"The defense played their hearts out tonight," Good Hope coach Alan Scott said. "We gave up some big plays early, one on a double move, and another on a busted play, and they were up 13-0, and to see the defense play the way they did for the rest of the game, it was great. I hate it for the kids though. Matt Dixon played big on both sides of the ball tonight. Haleyville has a great team and a great defense. We are in a tough region, but we keep competing. We just have to get over that hump. We will continue to do us right now, and then we will watch some film on West Point, and Don Farley has done a great job over there."

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