If you’re someone who loves the high octane offenses of the modern day football team then this article isn’t for you, but if you’re someone who missed the hard hitting, smash mouth defensive battles of the 80’s and 90’s then read on. The latter is exactly what Good Hope and West Point delivered as the Raiders took home the W in a 6-0 overtime win.
On a surprisingly cool and misty season opener the each team traded blows, forcing back and forth drives ending in a matter of a handful of plays. The Warriors and Raiders traded three 3-and-outs over the first three possessions, and the fourth ended after Good Hope’s Tyler Cone picked off Hunter Hensley. Cone returned the INT 35 yards to midfield before an unsportsmanlike brought the ball back to the Raiders 37 yard line.
As the game moved to the second quarter, it could best be described as missed opportunities for both squads. Good Hope capitalized on Cone’s big play, with runningback Kaleb Jones ripping off a 30 yard run, the longest play of the entire game by either team (foreshadowing of what was to come offensively). But after having the ball in the redzone, Good Hope got two cracks at a fourth down conversion after a pass interference put the with a 4th and 1 from the 6 yard line, but came up yards short after the run was stuffed for a loss.
Starting deep in their own territory on the 9 yard line West Point put together the most impressive drive us the game. The used a running back by committee and a big 24 yard catch by receiver Parker Marks to get all the way to the goaline. Four runs later Good Hope’s defense came up with a huge stop on the one yard line to give the Raiders the ball back.
After three straight incompletions West Point took over on the Good Hope 43 with a few minutes to play in the second half, but ultimately penalities and a slightly overthrown deep ball to an open Warrior left West Point off the scoreboard and tied 0-0 going into the half.
West Point opened with a 15 play drive that included a couple big 4th down conversions by Hensley but finally turned the ball over on downs on the 3rd attempt. The back and forth continued while West Point continued to put together some good drives but ended on a number of sacks by the Raider defense including two by Eli Clements.
Meanwhile, the Raiders had multiple scares on special teams that continued to plague them. Good Hope had a 10 yard punt, failed fake punt on 4th and 30, and a block punt but the defense in bad spot after bad spot. Despite the adversity the Raider defense answered the bell time and time again, until finally the clock hits zeroes with both teams with scores to match.
Good Hope started with the ball on the 10 yard line in overtime and used three quick run plays to finally put points on the board at the Jones 3 yard touchdown run. A failed two point conversion held Good Hope to a 6-0 lead with the defense needing one final stop to seal the win.
West Point had their run game stuffed three straight plays, setting up a 4th and goal from the 10 for with the game on the line. Hensley had receiver open on an out route on the goal line, but Good Hope’s Taz Bartlett timed a perfect hit to break the pass up and give Good Hope the hard fought win.
While both offenses struggled to put together consistent drives throughout the night make no mistake about it, each defense were the direct cause of that struggle. This old-fashioned slugfest was a classic from beginning to end.
Raider’s head coach Alan Scott had this to say on his team’s effort, “Before the game we told the kids any play could be the difference, play every down as hard as you can because it could be the difference. And that’s exactly what they did. They just kept fighting and kept playing. We’re so proud of their effort.”
Despite the disappointing loss, West Point’s head coach Don Farley added, “Neither team should be holding their head down. Great sportsmanship and great efforts all game long by both teams.
Good Hope will head home 1-0 to host Vinemont, who is coming off a close 46-40 win over Falkville. West Point meanwhile heads to Hanceville, who loss 20-13 to Brewer in their opener as each county school looks to rebound with their first win of the season.
Friday Night Recap:
Cullman – 13 | Mars Hill – 10
Cold Springs – 36 | Curry – 14
Brewer – 20 | Hanceville – 13
Vinemont – 46 | Falkville – 40
Good Hope – 6 | West Point – 0
Clements – 48 | Holly Pond – 34