While the Cordova Blue Devils may not have a championship in store for them this season, their defense provided their fans with hope for the future Friday night with an outstanding performance against the Good Hope Raiders. The Devils’ defense would dominate from the opening series until the last drive of the game, allowing only 58 yards of total offense on the evening.
The first Good Hope drive began on their own 10-yard line after a turnover on downs from Cordova. on the opening drive of the game. The Raiders would quickly sputter to a three and out, going backwards on two of their three plays from scrimmage, setting the tone for the entire game. The punt was then shanked out of bounds to give the Blue Devils excellent field position at Good Hope's 30-yard line. Cordova would take advantage of the short field and score two plays later on a 1-yard Zack Smith run to take an 8-0 lead with 3:59 left in the first quarter.
The remaining time in the first quarter was taken up by the Raiders as they gained 7 yards offensively to the Blue Devils 79. The second quarter would prove no different for Good Hope, who went three and out on all three of their possessions, gaining zero offensive yards.
Cordova's offense struggled to gather momentum in the second quarter as well, being unable to earn a first down of its own on all four of its possessions. The Blue Devils did manage to move the ball a total of 47 yards, 41 of which came on a brilliant run by Zack Smith with less than one minute left in the half. Thanks to the touchdown saving tackle by Good Hope’s Justin Turner, the Cordova lead at half time would remain only 8-0.
The second half was more of the same great play from Cordova's defense. On the opening series, Good Hope quarterback Kainan Smith made a poor pitch on the option and Andrew Minor quickly smothered the fumble to give the Blue Devils the ball in Raider territory. Minor was rewarded for his defensive play four plays later when he would score on a handoff from three yards out, taking a 16-0 lead early in the third quarter.
Good Hope would have three more possessions in the third quarter but could only gain a total of 10 yards offensively. Cordova, on the other hand, would find a way to score from the air as well when Chase Trotter found Jamaal Cooper for a 49 yard touchdown pass. This gave the Devils a 23-0 lead with 1:03 left in the third quarter.
Cordova would then strike first in the fourth quarter, going on a 8 play, 60 yard drive to crush the will of the Raiders. Jamal Cooper would add the finishing touch to this drive, a 3-yard touchdown run to take a 30-0 lead with 7:01 left in the game.
Good Hope’s next and final drive would see them produce 41 of their 58 total offensive yards for the game. Much of this came against Cordova's second string defense. But even late in the game with the outcome decided, the Devil's would not break, holding the Raiders to a turnover on downs after a first and goal from the seven. Cordova would take over the ball at their own three yard line and drain the rest of the clock to get their first home win of the season.
The Blue Devils were led offensively by Zack Smith, who had 101 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. Andrew Minor added 30 yards and a touchdown on 7 rushing attempts. Cooper scored rushing and receiving, adding 25 yards and a touchdown on 5 carries to his 49 yard touchdown reception. Jonathan Welch had 6 tackles to lead Cordova's defense.
The Raiders were led on offense by Jonathan Burnette, who rushed for 35 yards on five attempts. Good Hope’s defense was led by a stellar performance from William Cofer, who accumulated an amazing 13.5 tackles to lead all tacklers.
Cordova will aim for their third straight win next week at Hanceville, another region opponent, before closing the season at home the following week against Curry.