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October 26, 2013

MIDDLE SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Raiders shut out Warriors 20-0 for 2nd straight undefeated season, county title

GOOD HOPE — Perfection is an awful lot to ask of a group of kids — unless they’re on Good Hope’s middle school football team, that is.

With a 20-0 shutout of West Point in Monday’s Cullman County Middle School Football Championship, the Raiders put the finishing touches on their second straight title and undefeated season.

Reese Harbison and Blake Lyle had two interceptions apiece, including 85-yard pick-sixes by each, for a Good Hope starting defense that managed to score more points than it gave up during the 2013 campaign.

Harbison also helped out with three tackles and 71 rushing yards, including a 1-yard touchdown on the title tilt’s opening possession. Austin Wisener and Will Dickerson pitched in respective rushing totals of 33 and 31 yards. In addition to the big nights by Harbison and Lyle, Good Hope’s unbreakable defensive effort was powered by Justin Farmer (six tackles), Seth Edgeworth (three tackles for loss), Austin Eakes (five tackles, two for loss) and Mason Moniz (four tackles).

The Raiders rambled to their second consecutive 7-0 record in dominant fashion, averaging 27 points per game on offense and a mere seven points per game on defense. They compiled three shutouts and touted an average margin of victory of 20 points.

Good Hope also kept Fairview scoreless in the 2012 championship contest.

Warrior quarterback Kolton Easterwood chipped in 70 rushing yards and 65 passing yards, while running back Peyton Jones was good for 30 yards on the ground. West Point’s only two county losses this season came against the Raiders — a 26-14 final in Week 1 and then the title bout.

Good Hope coach Patrick McDonald couldn’t have been more proud of his entire squad, but especially the eighth-graders, who closed out their middle school careers on a 14-game winning streak and with back-to-back championships to boot.

“It’s just a testament to how hard these kids have worked and how much heart they have. They have very good attitudes, and they love the game of football,” McDonald said. “If they stay together, I think they’ll be a really special group. These boys have a bright future, and I look forward to watching them succeed at the varsity level.”

Tyler Hudson served as an assistant coach for the Raiders.

% Rob Ketcham can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 138 or at robk@cullmantimes.com.

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