PREP FOOTBALL: Good Hope hosts spring matchup against Priceville

Good Hope's Kaleb Jones rushed for 72 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown in the Raiders' 21-14 loss to Priceville. (Sammy Confer/The Cullman Tribune)

GOOD HOPE, Ala. — Good Hope hosted the Priceville Bulldogs for this year’s spring game Friday night and the Raiders mounted a late comeback effort to claim a win but ran out of time before they could climb all the way back and fell to Priceville 21-14.

The varsity squads took the field first to start the game. After forcing a punt to start the game, the Raiders’ running game got off to a good start as Kaleb Jones picked up nine yards and a first down. Charlie O’Neil followed that up with 10 yards of his own and another first down. Later on, Colten Whatley found O’Neil for a 27-yard gain, which put up at the 21. Unfortunately, a few plays later, Whatley threw an interception in the end zone to end the drive. Priceville went on a long drive that started at the 18-yard line and they found themselves at the 34 after a 12-yard pass, but the Raider defense stiffened and forced a turnover on downs. 

A three-and-out to start the second quarter gave the ball right back to Priceville and the Bulldogs found the end zone on just the third play of its series as a 50-yard run gave them a 7-0 lead with 8:55 remaining in the first half. Good Hope was forced to punt once again, but they got the ball right back on the first play as Jed Clements recovered a Bulldog fumble at the 28-yard line. A huge 12-yard run by O’Neil gave the Raiders a first down at the 18. Jones got the ball on the final three plays of the drive as his nine-yard touchdown run trimmed the deficit to one at 7-6. Neither team found the end zone for the rest of the first half as the Raiders trailed, 7-6, at the half.

The third quarter started out perfectly for Good Hope as Jones picked up 16 on the first play, then O’Neil found a huge hole and added 29 more of his own to quickly put the Raiders at the 25-yard line. But they didn’t do much after that as Jones got stuffed on fourth down to force Good Hope to turn the ball over on downs. The Bulldogs would add to their lead on its first drive of the second half as they found the end zone on a 20-yard run to push their lead to 14-6 with 5:38 left in the third quarter. 

Good Hope turned the ball over on downs on its next drive, but Taz Bartlett picked off a Priceville pass on the second play of its series to give the ball back to the Raiders. Huge passes by Whatley to O’Neil (seven and 21 yards) and to Tyler Cone (eight yards) quickly put Good Hope at the 27-yard line. But later on in the drive, a Raider fumble quickly put an end to their drive. The JV squads took the field for the final quarter and the Bulldogs scored on a 15-yard run to make it a 21-6 game with 10:27 remaining in the game.

Later on, Good Hope forced another fumble and recovered it at the 39-yard line. Big runs by Tyler Byrd and Jacob Pitts helped the Raiders move the ball down the field. Back-to-back runs by Byrd and Ayden Black put Good Hope at the 28-yard line. Two plays later, Black found Tucker Keef over the middle. Keef made a great catch in traffic before taking it to the house and Black found Keef for the 2-point conversion to make it a 21-14 contest with 1:16 remaining in the game. However, Priceville was able to run out the remainder of the clock and hold onto a 21-14 win.

Jones carried the ball 19 times for 72 yards and a touchdown. O’Neil added 61 more on seven carries. Whatley finished 9/13 for 93 yards and an interception. Black completed a pair of passes for 37 yards and the touchdown pass to Keef. Clements recovered a fumble while Bartlett finished with an interception for Good Hope.

Good Hope will kick off the 2022 season on the road against West Point on Aug. 19.

Copyright 2022 Humble Roots, LLC. All Rights Reserved.