By John William Gallagher
At Buccaneers Stadium Friday night, the Hoover High School Bucs defeated the Clay-Chalkville Cougars 44-20. The Bucs will now head the State Championship in Auburn next Friday night.
Hoover took the lead early in the first quarter and the Cougars making it a tied game. A second touchdown gave the Bucs the lead, something they did not relinquish the rest of the night. Goal line stands from the Cougars were not enough to keep the Bucs from scoring.
In the second quarter, turnovers and penalties kept the Cougars from mounting a much needed comeback. The Bucs were able to keep the momentum from swinging to the Cougars in the third quarter. Two interceptions in the fourth kept the Cougar’s comeback from happening.
“They’re the best,” said head coach Jerry Hood, talking about the Hoover Bucs team
Clay-Chalkville started the game with a 3-and-out. The Bucs got the ball at their 35-yd line and scored on a 57-yd pass. The Cougars drove down the field. A long pass from Hayden Moore, junior quarterback, to Brian Clark, junior wide receiver, brought them deep into the red zone. Sidney Battle, junior running back, scored on a 1-yd run to even the score at 7-7.
A quick drive noted with big plays from the Bucs brought them into the red zone. They scored on a 6-yd run and regained the lead. The Cougars made a goal line stand and the Bucs kicked a 21-yd field goal to extend their lead to 10 points.
The Cougars punted to start the second quarter. Hoover took two plays to reach the red zone and scored on a nine yard run. The Cougars mounted a big drive, starting at their 34 yard line. They were able to score on a 31 yard pass from Moore to Clark to make it a two possession game.
As the Bucs marched down the field, the Cougars looked posed to stop the Bucs at the goal line. On 3-and-goal, Hoover scored on a one yard run with less than one minute left in the half. The teams headed into the locker room with the Cougars trailing 30-14.
The Bucs received the ball to start the game’s second half and scored on a 17 yard run. On the sidelines, the defensive players had their heads down. The score was 37-14. Adam White, senior defensive back, tried to fire them up.
The Cougars drove from their own 29 yard line followed by a 25 yard touchdown pass from Hayden Moore to Clark. They went for two but Moore was unable to find a receiver. The Cougars trailed 37-20.
On Hoover’s ensuing 3-and-6, they spread five wide receivers and threw an interception. Clay-Chalkville drove the ball and a pass to DeAndre Woods, looking to bring the Cougars inside the five.
Sidney Battle, junior running back, made gains up the middle. An interception on a pass from Moore to Clark in the end zone kept them from scoring. On their first play, the Bucs scored on an 80 yard run. The score was now 44-20.
In the fourth quarter, Haydon Moore threw two interceptions. The Cougars tried to push down the field but another interception ended their hopes of a comeback. The Bucs held control of the ball for the duration of the fourth quarter and won the game 44-20.
According to MaxPreps.com, the Cougars end this season with a season record of 12-2-0, ranking number 109 in the nation and the Cougars take the number four ranking in the state.