By Brian Lacy
For The Times
GOOD HOPE —
Led by quarterback Sebastion Fendley, who accounted for all five of the Raiders’ touchdowns, Good Hope cruised to a 35-7 home victory over Cordova on Friday night.
The senior signal-caller completed 16 of 24 passes for 267 yards and four touchdowns, and ran the ball nine times for 136 yards and another score.
Fendley didn’t have to throw to ball very far to compile his passing yards. Most of the Raiders’ explosive plays came on short screen passes, and Good Hope’s receivers followed their blockers for big gains.
“The were blitzing the dog out of us,” Red and White coach Chris Moss said. “They were bringing everybody through the middle. You live and die by the blitz. Our guys up front were able to get downfield to the second level and were blocking well.”
Fendley kept the ball on a read-option play and ran through the left side of Cordova’s defense 10 yards for a touchdown on the game’s opening drive.
Good Hope’s next drive ended on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Fendley to Kainan Smith. The key play on the drive was a screen pass to Austin Crumbley that gained 39 yards.
A bad snap to the punter caused Cordova to turn the ball over near midfield on the ensuing drive, and the Raiders needed only four plays to find the end zone when Fendley hooked up with Smith on a screen pass for a 45-yard touchdown.
Good Hope extended its lead to 28-0 with 3:08 left in the first half when Crumbley raced down the right sideline past the defense to haul in a 31-yard touchdown pass in the end zone.
In keeping with the theme for the night, Fendley’s final touchdown late in the third quarter was a 24-yard screen pass to Justin Turner.
Cordova struggled to move the ball consistently, gaining 184 yards in the game, while Good Hope rolled up 497 yards of total offense.
“The gameplan was to make them throw by taking the run away,” Moss said. “They’ve got two quick, little running backs. We missed a few assignments, and they got a few good runs, but overall our guys played well.”
Charles Woods led the Blue Devils with 73 yards on seven carries. Skylar Thomas caught three passes for 17 yards, including a four-yard touchdown from quarterback Jonathan Shumate with 21 seconds left in the second quarter.
Smith was Good Hope’s leading receiver, catching five passes for 90 yards and two touchdowns. Crumbley had four receptions for 87 yards and a score, and Turner had two catches for 28 yards and a touchdown.
Running back Jared McClure had a busy night for the Raiders. He carried the ball nine times for 30 yards and caught three passes for 46 yards.
Good Hope (6-2, 5-1 in Class 3A, Region 7) travels to Winfield next week with a chance to lock up one of the region’s top two spots and a earn a home game in the first round of the playoffs. Hanceville and Hamilton are also 5-1 in region play.
“We’ve got a tough one next week,” Moss said. “All we’ve got to do is win. We can’t control anything else.”