The Raiders have moved into a three-way tie for first place in the region with their 27-22 win at Fayette County. (Preston Prewett for The Cullman Tribune)
FAYETTE COUNTY – Good Hope traveled to face (7-1) Fayette County Friday night for a battle between two evenly matched teams. This game was for a shot at first place in Class 4A, Region 5 and the fans were not disappointed. The game was back and forth all night and both teams played phenomenal football. This was one of those games that you wish both could win. Good Hope’s never-give-up attitude and some last-minute heroics gave the Raiders the 27-22 victory.
Fayette County started the contest off with a run-heavy attack, racking up 44 yards on the ground and putting the Raider defense on its heels. The 17-play, 79-yard drive ended with a Tiger touchdown and milked 8:53 off the game clock. Fayette failed to convert the extra point and led the game 6-0.
The Raiders started their offensive outing on the legs of Colton Bagwell and the arm of Bailey Quick. On this drive, Bagwell had four touches for 25 yards with Quick connecting twice for 37 yards. The Raiders capped off the drive with a Preston Bagwell 11-yard run to take a 7-6 lead.
On Fayette’s next possession, the Tigers couldn’t get anything going and ended up muffing the punt, giving Good Hope great field position at the 49. The Raiders took advantage and quickly went 51-yards on six plays to extend their lead to 13-6 on a 20-yard Quick touchdown run.
The Tigers would not be denied on their next offensive outing. Fayette took advantage of a Good Hope pass interference call, marching down the field for 52 yards on 10 plays to take the 14-13 lead. The Raiders followed up with a three-and-out and a punt. The first half drew to a close with the Tigers on top 14-13.
The second half saw both teams come out of the locker room energized and ready to play. Both defensive units stepped up, forcing the offenses to punt on a couple of possessions. On Good Hope’s third possession, the run game started clicking and the five-play, 40-yard drive ended with a Colton Bagwell bull run for the score, putting the Raiders on top 21-14.
The defenses for both teams stepped up again, forcing two more three-and-outs before the Fayette offense went into high gear. The Tigers combined short passes and short runs to stack up 65 yards on 10 plays to take a 22-21 lead with 2:13 left in the game.
The Raiders had all three timeouts and took over at their own 40-yard line. The Good Hope offensive coach dialed up some quick hitting runs and a 25-yard Quick pass to Preston Bagwell. With the Raiders knocking on the door at the 11, an intentional grounding call pushed them back to the 30-yard line and took them to fourth down. With the game on the line, 20 seconds remaining and 30 yards to go, Quick fired the ball down field and found Matt Dixon for the game-winning touchdown. The Raiders finished out the game in prevent defense and batted the final Tiger throw to the ground to take the 27-22 win on the road.
The Raiders are now done in region play at 5-1 and tied for first place. They’ll return home next week to face off against (1-8) Hanceville to wrap up the regular season.
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