PREP FOOTBALL: Good Hope wins in defensive affair with Carbon Hill, 20-12

Sammy Confer for The Cullman Tribune

CARBON HILL – Good Hope (4A, Region 5) traveled to Carbon Hill (3A, Region 4) to kick off the 2018 season Friday night, and the Raiders brought home the 20-12 win.

The first drive saw the Raiders go three-and-out. Carbon Hill found the end zone on its first series as their eight-play, 40-yard drive ended with a 36-yard touchdown pass to put the Bulldogs on the board with a 6-0 lead thanks to an Isaiah Green interception on their 2-point conversion try. Good Hope was forced to punt on its next series and the Bulldogs found the end zone on the first play of the drive with a 46-yard touchdown pass to make it a 12-0 advantage after the failed 2-point conversion.

Another punt by the Raiders saw them looking to make a big defensive stand on their next series; they did just that, stopping Carbon Hill on fourth down. The Raider offense finally started clicking, but with some help, as the Bulldogs were flagged three times during the drive. After an offsides penalty gave Good Hope a first down at the 31, quarterback Bailey Quick found Matt Hancock for a 24-yard completion. Three plays later, Quick found Green for a 3-yard touchdown pass to put the Raiders on the scoreboard with 5:02 remaining in the first half.

The Raider momentum continued as Matt Dixon picked off a Bulldog pass at the 22-yard line on their next series. Quick went 4-of-4 for 51 yards on the next Good Hope possession, including a 16-yarder to Green, and back-to-back completions to Hancock for 22 and 14 yards, respectively. After Quick got 22 yards on the ground on the next two plays, Dixon finished the drive off with a 4-yard touchdown run to give Good Hope a 13-12 lead at halftime.

After forcing the Bulldogs to punt on their first series of the third quarter, the Raider offense looked to stretch its lead on its first series. Quick found Matt Schwaiger over the middle and it looked like a sure touchdown for Good Hope, but one of the Carbon Hill defenders knocked the ball out of Schwaiger’s hand and it rolled through the end zone for a touchback.

A scoreless third quarter kept the score at 13-12 going into the final quarter. Another Bulldog punt put Good Hope in decent field position at the 35-yard line. A huge 28-yard run by Dixon put the Raiders past midfield at the 37. A few plays later, Quick found Preston Bagwell for a big 28-yard score to stretch their lead to 20-12 with 9:22 remaining in the game. Schwaiger grabbed Good Hope’s third interception of the game on the next series.

The Raiders punted on their next possession, but the Bulldogs got flagged for a personal foul, moving the ball back to the 18. Bagwell got a big sack on a second-down play, and the Raider defense stood tall once again, forcing Carbon Hill to turn the ball over on downs. Then, Good Hope milked the rest of the time off the clock to start the 2018 season with a victory.

Quick finished the game 11-of-17 for 203 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He also added 61 more on the ground. Dixon carried the ball 21 times for 76 yards and a touchdown. Hancock finished with 98 yards on five receptions on the night. After a rough first quarter, the Raider defense shined, allowing just nine first downs the rest of the way.

“It was just a real gut-check for us tonight,” Good Hope Head Coach Alan Scott said. “Carbon Hill has such a great team. They came out and hit us in the mouth. The guys responded to that pretty well. We came out and scored a couple of touchdowns to go up 13-12, and then it was just about hanging on. I thought the team played their tails off; we came together as a group. I’m just super proud of our guys and the way we played tonight.”

Scott continued, “We gave up a lot of yards through the air in the first quarter and we really settled down; we made adjustments in the secondary and at that point right there, you got to kinda just hang on and take what they give you; our guys did a good job reacting to the football and making plays. Bailey Quick and the guys on offense, our offensive line, defensive line, special teams, everything. It was a team win tonight, and I thought it was a good night to be a Raider.”

Good Hope will travel to Priceville next Friday night.

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