Good Hope Ends Northside’s Season On The Road
The Good Hope Raiders move on in the AHSAA 4A playoffs after making the trip to Northside and serving the Rams their only home loss on the season, 35-21.
"We just kinda gutted it out," said Good Hope coach Alan Scott.
"We don't have a lot of numbers, we're not very big, but they play really hard... We're really thankful to be moving on."
It looked as if everything was going to plan for Northside on its first drive in week two of the AHSAA playoffs. Besides the two early penalties, the Rams' first drive was successful after a 13-play rushing attack led to a two-yard touchdown from senior running back Jace McNutt.
The Raiders, on the other hand, had an ugly three-play opening drive which ended in Northside's senior defensive back Keiton Camp intercepting a ball from senior QB Tanner Malin. However, Northside wasn't able to capitalize on the short field and turned the ball over on downs after an incompletion on fourth and long.
Once the Raiders' offense got solid footing, the Rams struggled to get them off the field. In Good Hope's second drive - just their fourth play on offense - senior RB Ethan Anderson broke off a 62-yard touchdown to tie the game at seven.
A fumble from Braden Green gave the Raiders a shot to take the lead and they'd capitalize after a five-play drive ended with a 17-yard rushing score from Malin.
After halftime, the environment in the stadium grew chippier by the minute and led to the eventual ejection of two separate Northside fans in the second half.
Good Hope opened up the third quarter with their longest drive of the night, an eight-play scoring drive that ended with another rushing score from Anderson, putting the Rams down 21-7 with over 20 minutes left on the scoreboard.
The Rams were finally able to respond and brought the score to 21-14 after Malin fumbled deep into Raiders territory. The ball was recovered at the eight-yard line by Jace McNutt and a two-play drive with two four-yard runs ended with Green's first touchdown of the night.
Looking to put the game away in the third quarter, Good Hope was able to tack on another touchdown off of a 41-yard scramble from Malin, bringing their lead to 28-14.
Northside was able to keep it close by adding Green's second rushing touchdown to end the third quarter only down by a score, but two costly turnovers in the fourth quarter kept the win out of reach. The final nail in Northside's coffin was placed by another Anderson touchdown with 10:02 left on the clock.
Braden Green ended his fifth playoff appearance as a starter 17-for-27 with 106 yards passing and two interceptions. On the ground, Green had 28 rush attempts for 143 yards, a fumble and two touchdowns.
For senior Jace McNutt, he finished his last game in a Rams uniform with 14 carries, five catches, a fumble recovery, a rushing touchdown and 106 yards from scrimmage.
While Good Hope's Tanner Malin only went 1-for-3 with 24 yards in the passing, his 212 yards on the ground from 15 carries kept the Northside defense on its heels. His running back, Anderson, finished with three touchdowns on the ground and 132 yards off of 14 carries.
The Raiders (9-3) will now enter the third round of the playoffs and take on the Madison Academy Mustangs on their home field in Cullman, AL. The Mustangs are now 11-1 and haven't lost a game since August 20, 2021.
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