The Raider defense was dominant in Good Hope's 49-18 win over Hanceville Friday night. (Preston Prewett for the Cullman Tribune)
GOOD HOPE – The Good Hope Raiders hosted the struggling Hanceville Bulldogs on senior night Friday and outside of a couple of big plays, the game was all Good Hope. The offense was firing on all cylinders and the defense dominated the entire game. Good Hope ran away with a 49-18 victory and will immediately shift its attention to the looming start of playoffs next week.
The Raider defense flexed its muscle early, forcing Hanceville to turn the ball over on downs after holding the Bulldogs to only 8 yards. The Good Hope offensive unit took the field and wasted no time establishing itself with the running game with the bulk of the yards coming from Colton Bagwell. The Raiders put the first points on the board with a nine-play, 36-yard drive. Isaiah Green punched it into the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown run to put the home team up 7-0.
The next few possessions were defensive struggles as both teams were forced to punt it away. Good Hope found its rhythm on offense on its next possession, taking the ball 80 yards downfield on seven plays. Bailey Quick was the workhorse and capped the drive off with a 44-yard touchdown run. The Raiders went for two and extended their lead to 15-0.
Not to be outdone, Hanceville clawed its way back into the game, taking the ensuing kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown to keep the score close at 15-6. The Raiders didn't take kindly to that Bulldog score and made quick work of Hanceville. Good Hope added seven more points to its column with a 20-yard touchdown strike from Quick to Preston Bagwell putting the score at 22-6 for the home team. The defense decided to make its presence felt and on the first play of Hanceville's next possession, Tanner Malin came up clutch with a huge interception. The Raider offense would not let the momentum go to waste and quickly scored on a five-play, 44-yard scoring drive capped off with another 17-yard Quick to Preston Bagwell hookup. With this score, Good Hope took a 29-6 lead.
Good Hope's defense continued to play grown man football, forcing a Bulldog fumble and coming up with the recovery at the 44-yard line. The Raider offense unfortunately found the ball to be a bit slippery as well and fumbled it on the fifth play from scrimmage allowing Hanceville to take over. The Bulldog offense found some success racking up 60 yards in the air on their next outing. The six-play, 63-yard drive ended with a 24-yard touchdown strike putting Hanceville back in the hunt at 29-12 right before halftime.
The second half started with a Raider fumble and a Bulldog turnover on downs before the home team found some juice. That juice came in the form of a 69-yard Quick run that put the Raiders in scoring position at the 6-yard line. Colton Bagwell took it to the house with a power run on the next snap, extending the Raider lead to 36-12. Another quick Bulldog fumble allowed Good Hope to take over at the 30-yard line. The Raiders had no trouble adding more points on the board after a Quick to Drew Maddox connection and a 23-yard Isaiah Green touchdown run locking the score at 43-12.
Hanceville had a hard time holding on to the ball as the Raider defense forced yet another fumble that took the game into the fourth quarter. The Good Hope coaches decided to give the starters a much-deserved rest before playoffs. The second string and JV boys got to play the entire fourth quarter, getting some valuable game experience. The Raiders added six more points to the board coming off the foot of Walter Perez who knocked through two beautiful field goals of 27 and 32 yards to bring the final to 49-18.
The Raiders finish the regular season 9-1 and will be on the road next week to take on St. John Paul II for their first matchup of the playoffs. The Bulldogs finish the season 1-9.
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