HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Both Hanceville and Good Hope wrapped up their regular seasons at Ray Talley Stadium Friday night when the Raiders traveled to face the Bulldogs in a wet, cold cross-county showdown. Hanceville struck first in the opening quarter, but it was Good Hope that finished out in front 28-18 to finish the regular season 8-2.
The Bulldogs took an early lead over the Raiders when quarterback Bo Joles found Trevor Shadden in the end zone for an 18-yard touchdown, but Good Hope responded almost immediately. In just a few plays, the Raiders moved in front 7-6 after a 26-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tanner Malin to Drew Maddox in the front corner of the end zone.
Maddox ended the next Hanceville possession early with an interception, but Good Hope was forced to punt the ball back to the Bulldogs. The Raiders forced a punt from Hanceville and on the ensuing possession, they stretched the lead to 14-6 with a 15-yard touchdown run from Colton Bagwell midway through the second quarter. A turnover on downs gave the ball back to Good Hope and a 1-yard quarterback keeper by Malin put the Raiders on top 21-6 going into the half.
Both teams came out firing in the second half. Malin dropped in a perfect touchdown pass to Jager Burns from 16 yards out to make it a 28-6 game but the Bulldogs responded with a crisp drive that ended with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Joles to Brodie Malcom. The score cut the lead to 28-12 with just over six minutes to play in the third quarter.
Hanceville got the ball back after a fumble from the Raiders but turned the ball over on downs, giving possession back to Good Hope. The Raiders were forced to punt and the Bulldogs took advantage. Joles broke free up the middle of the defense for 69 yards to set Hanceville up with first-and-goal, and two plays later, Joles punched it in from 3 yards out to cut the lead to 28-18 early in the fourth. After another defensive stop, the Bulldogs got the ball back with a chance to make it a one-possession game but couldn’t get on the scoreboard again and Good Hope held on to win it 28-18.
The Raiders finish the regular season with an 8-2 record and will be on the road to face Oneonta in the first round the AHSAA state playoffs next week. Hanceville’s season will come to an end at 3-7, but after making big strides from last season and losing just one senior from this year’s roster, the future looks bright for the Bulldogs.
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