PREP FOOTBALL: Good Hope outlasts Vinemont 34-22

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Good Hope running back Kaleb Jones (33). (Maddie McKenney/The Cullman Tribune)

GOOD HOPE, Ala. – It was a warm, muggy night for the county rivalry matchup between the Good Hope Raiders and the Vinemont Eagles Friday night and for the second week in a row the Raiders came away with a hard-fought victory over a county rival, this time over the Eagles 34-22. After the game, Raiders Head Coach Alan Scott said that he was “glad to see his football team hang on and win a game at the end for the second straight week, hopefully that will give us some momentum heading into region play.”

Vinemont started quickly as Brody Speer took the first play 67 yards to the house to give the Eagles an early 8-0 lead with less than 30 seconds ran off the clock. Faced with fourth and 11 Colten Whatley found Tucker Malin to move the chains. Three plays later, Kmal Bell capped off the drive with a 10-yard touchdown run to pull the Raiders within one at 8-7 with 8:05 remaining in the opening quarter. Good Hope would get the ball back after Vinemont failed to convert on fourth down and four plays later Good Hope took the lead 13-8 when Whatley found Malin for an 18-yard touchdown with just over four minutes remaining in the first quarter.

Vinemont was driving to start the second quarter but a fumble on fourth down gave the ball back to the Raiders. A lengthy, 10-play drive ended with a 5-yard touchdown by Eli Clements to extend the Raiders lead to 20-8 with 7:55 remaining until halftime. The Eagles responded with a 36-yard touchdown run by Diego Rodriguez to cut the Raiders lead to 20-16 with 5:16 left in the first half. The Eagles were looking to take the lead in the locker room but an incomplete pass in the endzone ended the first half of play.

Coming out of the locker room Vinemont got a stop on fourth down but the Raiders defense stepped up to force a three and out. Vinemont’s defense stood tall to force a Raiders punt and five plays later Brody Speer raced 57 yards for a touchdown to put Vinemont up 22-20 with just over a minute remaining in the third quarter. Early in the fourth quarter the Raiders responded with 2-yard touchdown by Colten Whatley to but the Raiders ahead 28-22.

The Raiders were able to capitalize on a turnover when Kaleb Jones found the endzone with an 8-yard touchdown run which put the Raider up 34- 22 with just under three minutes to play in the game. After the Eagles failed to convert on fourth down all the Raider had to do was line up in the victory formation to run out the clock, securing a 34-22 hard fought victory.

Good Hope improves to 2-0 with the win and will be on the road next week to face Cherokee County while Vinemont returns home for another county battle against West Point.

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