PREP FOOTBALL: Fairview knocks off Good Hope 28-7

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Fairview’s Jake Harper (14) posted 221 yards and a touchdown in the Aggies’ 28-7 win over Good Hope Friday night. (Mike Witcher/The Cullman Tribune)

FAIRVIEW, Ala. – The Fairview Aggies hosted the Good Hope Raiders in a huge county game for both teams. After holding a slim lead at the half, a strong running game helped the Aggies pull away in the second half and knock off the Raiders 28-7.

Good Hope was set to kick off to start the game, but they ended up recovering the ball when Zak Keller fell on it on the 37-yard line. A sack by Jayden Pineda on third down forced the Raiders into a long fourth down try, but a pass interference penalty kept the drive alive. On the next play, though, Fairview forced an incomplete pass to end the series for Good Hope. The Aggies were forced to punt on its opening series, and Good Hope drove the ball down the field behind the arm of Colten Whatley as he found Weston Hancock for 20 yards, and Tyler Cone twice (36 yards and 10 yards) to put the ball at the 12. Tucker Malin picked up the first down on a three-yard carry, but a Pineda sack on third down and a Whatley interception on fourth down gave the ball back to Fairview.

A huge 31-yard pass from Barrett York to Ashton Mcleskey put the Aggies at the 42, and two plays later, Kolt Redding found Cade Yeager for 14 yards to put Fairview at the 23. Good Hope’s defense stiffened after that, and Fairview’s field goal fell short, keeping the game scoreless. On second down from the 15, Whatley connected with Carter Rutherford for 35 yards and a first down at midfield. For the second time tonight, Yeager picked off an errant pass as he intercepted the pass at the 32.

The Aggies pounded the ball on the ground behind Jake Harper as he quickly wore down the Raider defense. Later on in the drive, on fourth down, Redding executed a perfect screen pass to Jameson Goble, who then proceeded to take off down the left sideline for a 30-yard score to give the Aggies a 7-0 lead with five minutes left to go in the first half. Both defenses forced punts to end the first half, and Fairview would take a slim 7-0 lead into the locker room.

Mason Drake picked up a pair of first downs to start out the second half for Good Hope, but Fairview’s defense quickly stiffened and forced the Raiders to punt. Some big runs by Harper and York quickly put the Aggies at the 44. After a holding penalty pushed them back to the 40, the Aggies scored on the next play as Harper found a huge hole on the left side and scored on a 60-yard touchdown to give them a 14-0 lead with 8:36 left to go in the third quarter. A quick three-and-out gave the ball back to the Aggies and on the first play, Jones found a huge hole on the left side and found the end zone on a 72-yard score to make it a 21-0 game almost two minutes later. 

A 54-yard strike from Whatley to Tucker Malin looked to have the Raiders in business as they looked to crack the scoreboard for the first time. A personal foul penalty on the Aggies moved the Raiders up to the 15, but they failed to convert on fourth down, giving the ball back to Fairview. The Aggies continued to wear down the Raider defense on the ground, and York finished off the 11-play, 88-yard drive with an eight-yard quarterback keeper to push their lead to 28-0.  Drake picked up a first down on Good Hope’s next drive, and two plays later, Whatley found Cone for 44 yards, and they later connected on a five-yard score to cut it to 28-7. After getting the ball back off an Aggie punt, the Raiders looked to make it interesting on their next drive, but Elrod intercepted Whatley’s pass to end the drive and any hopes of a Good Hope comeback. A first down and a couple of kneel downs later, and the game ended with Fairview picking up the win over Good Hope 28-7.

Harper had another huge game on the ground for Fairview (4-0), rushing for 221 yards on 16 carries and a score. Jones added 103 yards on the ground and a touchdown. Redding completed 5/9 passes for 57 yards and a score. Yeager finished with a pair of interceptions and Elrod added one of his own for the Aggies. Pineda collected a pair of sacks. For Good Hope (1-3), Whatley finished 15/26 for 222 yards, a touchdown, and three interceptions. Cone added six receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown.

Fairview will travel to take on West Point in the Brandin Iron Bowl next Friday night, while Good Hope will host Etowah in a huge region game.

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