PREP FOOTBALL: Good Hope punches postseason ticket with 20-7 win at Ashville

The Good Hope Raiders downed Ashville on the road 20-7 Friday night. (Maddie McKenney/The Cullman Tribune)

ASHVILLE, Ala. – The Raiders edged out Hanceville 26-20 to pick up a big region last week and they hit the road Friday night for another critical region battle at Ashville. Just like last week’s game, Friday night’s against the Bulldogs of Ashville was another tight, physical matchup for Good Hope. However, the Raiders were able to jump out to an early lead over Ashville and they stepped up defensively against the Bulldogs to leave with a 20-7 win and a spot in the postseason secured.

Good Hope put together an excellent scoring drive early in the first quarter, converting a fourth down with a screen pass to K’mal Bell and later scoring on a 25-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Colton Whatley to Tucker Malin, giving the Raiders a 7-0 lead with about eight minutes to play in the opening period.

Good Hope added to its lead later in the second quarter when Whatley hit Bell down the middle of the field for a 40-yard touchdown pass and made it a 14-0 game midway through the second. The Raiders maintained a 14-0 advantage going into the locker room at halftime.

Ashville found the end zone with just under eight minutes to play in the third quarter to trim the lead to 14-7 but at the start of the fourth, Good Hope extended its lead when running back Kaleb Jones took a screen pass 40 yards for a touchdown and put the Raiders on top 20-7 with 11 minutes on the clock. Good Hope’s defense kept things under control the rest of the way and a Zeb Smith interception in the final minute of the game sealed the 20-7 win for the Raiders.

With the win, Good Hope has clinched a playoff berth for the fifth consecutive season and will be back home at James W. Shabel Stadium next week for a regional matchup against Fultondale.

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