E.A. Sports Today

Good Hope bad for J’ville

Jacksonville’s first loss of season comes on the road in second round of the Class 4A playoffs; Hokes Bluff advances

Good Hope quarterback Bailey Quick (2) looks for room to run against Jacksonville. On the cover, Good Hope held Golden Eagles’ running back Ron Wiggins to 57 yards rushing. (Photos by Jacksonville Journal)

By East Alabama Sports Today

CULLMAN – Second-ranked Jacksonville succumbed to the harsh offense of the Good Hope Raiders Friday night and fell in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs 27-12.

The Golden Eagles’ defense was plagued with missed tackles and penalties allowing the Raiders to score 20 points in the first half. The Raiders came in strong and showed their talent for the running game as well as their passing.


“When you get to this point everybody is good; everybody has got a good football team,” Jacksonville coach Clint Smith said. “We came into tonight and got off to a slow start. I thought we played hard and got after it, but it is just one of those tough nights sometimes.

“We have been fortunate to be 11-0 up to this point, but there is only one team that is going to end up winning their last game and unfortunately for us tonight it ended.”

With the score already at 14-0, Jacksonville had a bad snap that went over the head of DeMarien Stewart. The Raiders (11-1) capitalized on that error and scored on the second play of the drive. The extra point was missed leaving the score at 20-0.

Jacksonville was able to score once in the half, with Ron Wiggins running the ball in after a long drive. The missed two-point conversion left the score at 20-6 at halftime.

The second half proved to be a challenge for the Golden Eagles (11-1) as they committed four turnovers leaving them with no additional points at the half.

When the second half resumed, the Raiders kicked off to Jacksonville. Yessman Green was unable to control the onsides kick and the Raiders jumped on it taking possession at Jacksonville’s 39.

The Raiders struck quickly with Bailey Quick throwing a 19-yard touchdown pass to Matthew Dixon for Dixon’s third touchdown of the game.

The Golden Eagles responded when Luke Jackson’s 28-yard touchdown pass to Jewels Gray to make it 27-12.

The remainder of the game became a defensive game as both sides refused to allow any more touchdowns. The Raiders removed any chances of another score when they intercepted a pass with only a few minutes remaining. Tempers began to flair on the Jacksonville side and Gray was ejected from the game for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The Raiders held Jacksonville to 14 yards net rushing. Wiggins rushed for 57 yards on 16 carries in the final game of his junior season that saw his recruiting stock go way up. Jackson completed 13 of 27 passes for 173 yards spread among four receivers.

“We hate it that it ended like it did tonight, but I’m still proud of my guys,” Smith said. “We won’t let one game define our season. (I’m) just proud of all the records they set and accomplishments they made this year.”

Good Hope 27, Jacksonville 12
Jacksonville 0 6 6 0 – 12
Good Hope 7 13 7 0 – 27

G – Matthew Dixon 1 run (Walter Perez kick), 4:56 1Q
G – Isaiah Green 36 run (Walter Perez kick), 11:51 2Q
G – Matthew Dixon 19 run (kick failed), 1:24 2Q
J – Ron Wiggins 5 run (PAT failed), 0:28 2Q
G – Matthew Dixon 19 pass from Bailey Quick (Walter Perez kick), 10:22 3Q
J – Jewels Gray 28 pass from Luke Jackson (run failed), 8:49 3Q

Hokes Bluff 33, North Jackson 13

STEVENSON – Darrian Meads rushed for 180 yards and scored four touchdowns and Hokes Bluff used a big fourth quarter to dump North Jackson (11-1).

The game was billed as a head-to-head matchup between Meads and North Jackson stellar back Lee Witherspoon. Meads scored on runs of 5, 23 and 10 yards and returned an interception for another score. Witherspoon rushed for 76 yards on 17 carries but scored no touchdowns and was taken out of the game with a possible concussion.

Meads’ second touchdown gave Hokes Bluff a 14-6 lead going into the fourth quarter, then the Eagles (11-1) scored three touchdowns in the final nine minutes to pull away.

The Chiefs had been averaging 60 points a game. The 13 points were their fewest in a game by 28 points.

The Eagles will host Deshler in the third round Friday. It will be the third year in a row they will have made it to at least the third round.

Hokes Bluff 33, North Jackson 13
Team stats HB NJ

First downs 15 17
Rushes-yds 36-212 41-221
Passes 2-3-0 7-17-2
Passing yds 38 101
Fumbles-lost 1-1 2-2
Punts-avg 3-31.9 1-30.0
Penalties-yds 5-45 7-65

Scoring summary
Hokes Bluff 0 7 7 19 – 33
No. Jackson 0 6 0 7 – 13

HB – Darrian Meads 5 run (Ethan Whitcomb kick), 11:20 2Q
NJ – Tanner Woodall 2 run (kick blocked), 0:28 2Q
HB – Darrian Meads 23 run (Ethan Whitcomb kick), 7:15 3Q
HB – Darrian Meads interception return (pass failed), 9:00 4Q
NJ – Korre Smith 95 run (Luke Szameitat kick), 8:35 4Q
HB – Braydon Hill 21 pass from Ashton Gulledge (Ethan Whitcomb kick), 4:05 4Q
NH – Darrian Meads 10 run (Ethan Whitcomb kick), 3:45 4Q

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