Battle leads Cougars to win over Grissom
By Scott Buttram
Clay-Chalkville High School junior tailback Sidney Battle introduced himself to Grissom early when he bolted for 48 yards on his first carry of the night. It would get better for Battle, and decidedly worse for Grissom, as he continued to dominate the Tiger defense all evening in the 42-12 Clay-Chalkville win.
“I felt great tonight,” said Battle, who finished the game with 259 yards on 18 carries with 3 touchdowns. “The line just makes it happen for me. They are great. I just made my pre-reads on the linebackers and followed my blockers all night. That’s really all it is.”
CCHS coach Jerry Hood said he would review the film before deciding how well the offensive line played, but his smile betrayed his pleasure with the big guys up front and Battle.
“I think it’s probably a combination of both,” Hood said. “I’ll have to look at the film. You never know about the offensive line until the game is over. You have to look at the tape.”
The senior laden group does most of their talking on the field.
“They’re all quiet,” Hood said with a smile. “None of them are mean. They’re all sweet kids. Khaliel (Borders), Fred (Dunn), and Zac (Harris) are our three seniors. Zac never says a word. Khaliel never says a word and Zac just says ‘yes sir’ when he messes up. They’re a lot of fun in the film room.”
Kenterrius Gray opened the scoring for the Cougars on a one-yard run in the first quarter to spot the visitors with a 7-0 lead. Grissom answered in the second quarter when Eric Turner went 48 yards for the score. The two-point conversion failed and the Cougars held a 7-6 lead before Battle exploded for touchdown runs of 45 and 55 yards to send Clay-Chalkville into the half with a 21-6 lead.
Despite a solid performance on defense, Hood continued to stress the standard of play he expects from that side of the ball.
“We think they can be great,” Hood said of his defense. “If they do little things wrong, that’s what we’re harping on. They’re (opponents) going to get a first down, they might score on a busted coverage or whatever, but we need the defense to play like they’re coached.”
Hood pointed out the technical aspects that the coaches insist the defense follow.
“Like on defense (before the half), the facemask on the option,” he said. “We’re going to get the ball back one more time. We may go in 28-6 instead of 21-6, but we get a facemask. Our rule on the option is never cross the line of scrimmage.
“I thought TJ McCulloms came back and gave us a spark with those licks,” Hood said of the senior who has been out since the Hewitt-Trussville game. ”It was good to see him back and flying around the ball in the fourth quarter. That was good stuff.”
Battle added a 21-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to extend the Cougar lead to 28-6 before Grissom quarterback Thomas Hill dashed 33 yards to close the gap to 28-12 after another failed two-point conversion by the Tigers.
Gray scored his second touchdown of the night with a 5-yard burst late in the third quarter to put the Cougars up 35-12. Hayden Moore teamed up with DeAndre Woods for a 38-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to provide the final margin of 42-12 and keep the Cougars undefeated on the season.