Clay-Chalkville drops Minor in first home game
By Erik Harris
For The Tribune
CLAY — There was no national spotlight. There were no ESPN camera crews on campus, but that didn’t make No. 2 Clay-Chalkville any less glamorous on Friday night at the newly renovated Cougar Stadium.
The Cougars sank their spikes into the new artificial turf for the first time in a live game situation and proudly stepped off the spongy field with a 46-14 win over Minor.
Junior quarterback Tyrell Pigrome continued his hot start, completing 13-of-19 passes for 174 yards and four touchdowns in his first home start. His solid outing came off the heals of a 404-yard, four-touchdown performance last Saturday on ESPNU.
But it was the Clay-Chalkville defense that shined brighter in this one. Senior cornerback Kam Prewitt and the swarming defense forced five turnovers that they turned into 10 points. Prewitt recorded his third interception of the season and added a first-half fumble recovery.
Both offenses started fast. Senior running back Terrelle West took a toss sweep for a one-yard score on the Cougars’ opening drive moments before Minor quarterback Haywood Spencer evened the scoreboard with a 56-yard strike to Delonte’ Evans.
“I thought we started pretty good, you know, we scored on the opening drive and that’s always a good thing,” said Clay-Chalkville head coach Jerry Hood.
Spencer converted four of six third-down conversions in the opening half, but only turned it into seven points.
Other than the opening drive, Clay-Chalkville (2-0) held the Tiger offense in check until Jaylond Adams scampered 77 yards for the fourth-quarter score, which made the score 32-14 with 8:24 remaining.
“I’m super proud of our defense, they stepped up and looked like men tonight,” Hood said. “I think that unit’s just getting better and better.”
Meanwhile, the Cougar offense came to life in the second half. Pigrome grew particularly fond of targeting T.J. Simmons. The duo hooked up three times in the second half, and all found paydirt. Two of them were short red zone tosses and the third one went 75 yards to give the home team a 39-14 advantage.
“We just had to pick it up,” Simmons said. “We were a little slow in the first half. We just had to pick up the pace.”
Clay-Chalkville senior kicker Patrick Millican had an active night, making one of his three field goal attempts. His make came from 22 yards out late in the second quarter. He later struck the crossbar and came up just short on his 47-yard attempt as time expired in the first half with an 18-7 lead.
“What made it look bad was there were a couple times that you expect Clay to score touchdowns and we had to kick a field goal,” Hood said.
Art Smith ran 18 yards for a late score that ended the contest at 46-14.
Clay-Chalkville will play its third straight non-region opponent next Friday when it welcomes Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa.
“They should be pretty good. They are a playoff-caliber team,” Prewitt said.