Patriots come up short at Good Hope

Courtesy of Cullman Times

Despite trailing at halftime, Good Hope came roaring back to beat West End, 28-18, on Friday (Nov. 1) at Good Hope.

In the first half, it was the worst of times.

Getting the ball first, the Raiders took the opening drive 90 yards down the field in a five plays. Sebastion Fendley capped off the drive with a 42-yard pass to Austin Crumbley to go up early.

West End responded quickly after returning the ensuing kickoff to the Raiders’ 8-yard line. Three plays later, Rhett Lister walked it in from three yards out to tie the game.

That was when the Patriots’ plan of playing keep-away went into effect. 

West End held the ball for 18 minutes in the first half – and 33 minutes overall – by constantly getting small gains to eat up the clock and converting four of five fourth downs to keep the ball in the Patriots’ possession.

When Good Hope did gain possession, Fendley was intercepted twice.

West End got the ball to start the third quarter, and it looked like another march down the field. But on the fourth play from scrimmage, the Raiders took the ball out of senior running back Chase Blanton’s hands and went to the air, setting up an interception by senior Justin Turner.

The Raiders took the ball 54 yards in five plays, scoring on a Fendley run from nine yards out. They cashed in on the two-point conversion to take a two-point lead.

West End regained the lead on a 17-play drive that covered 64 yards. The score came on a 1-yard Blanton run.

The Patriots didn’t have the momentum long, though, as Jared McClure returned the next kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown.

After West End ended a 12-play drive with a turnover on downs, McClure caught a 42-yard pass from Fendley to give the game its final score. 

West End finished its season at 0-10, while Good Hope improved to 7-3. 

Blanton rushed rushed 28 times for 130 yards.

Caegan Epperson was 10-for-12 in passing for 134 yards.

Caleb Duffey had five tackles and an interception. 

“We came in 0-9 and I’m as proud of our kids as I would be if we were 10-0,” said West End head coach Randy Hallmark. “They played their hearts out tonight. They played for four quarters and we got beat by probably a better football team. Chase has been our workhorse all year. We have to give him the football. He’s a senior and he really stepped up tonight.”

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