By Gary Lloyd
Some is good, but Moore is better.
Clay-Chalkville senior quarterback Hayden Moore completed 10-of-14 passes for 205 yards and four touchdowns, and rushed 13 times for 205 yards and three scores, to lead the Class 6A No. 2 Cougars past Class 5A Pinson Valley 48-31 in a non-region matchup at Willie Adams Stadium on Friday night.
“Yeah, I guess so,” Moore said in response to the question about it being the best game he’s ever played. “We had a lot of motivation to do as good as we did last week and get better from last week. Last week was a pretty big win, and we wanted to come out here and just keep on rolling and keep on getting better.”
Moore, a Cincinnati verbal commitment, was watched from the stands by his future coach, Cincinnati head coach Tommy Tuberville, the former Auburn head man. Did Tuberville’s presence have anything to do with Moore’s stellar performance?
“I guess it adds a little pressure, but they told me not to worry about him and just play my game,” Moore said.
Moore’s first three completions all went for touchdowns. On the second play of the game, he found junior running back Terrelle West on a swing pass for a 60-yard touchdown. On Clay-Chalkville’s next drive, he hit senior wideout Brian Clark for a 26-yard score.
A Saul Rios 29-yard field goal then made it 14-3 in the Cougars’ favor. On Clay-Chalkville’s next drive, Moore faked a punt on fourth-and-four and ran 51 yards for a score, giving Clay-Chalkville (5-0, 3-0 Class 6A, Region 7) a 21-3 advantage. Moore then found junior receiver Eric Blockum for a 34-yard touchdown with 39 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Moore rushed for his second touchdown early in the second quarter, a 15-yard scamper that put Clay-Chalkville up 34-3.
Pinson Valley senior quarterback Brooks Garrett midway through the second quarter found sophomore receiver Desmond Williams for a 20-yard strike to cut the deficit to 34-9. Garrett on Pinson Valley’s next drive hit junior running back Nick Gibson for a 61-yard scoring play to make it a 34-16 game going into halftime.
Garrett capped a 13-play, 50-yard drive to open the second half when he found Williams again, this time a 6-yard scoring throw and catch, pulling the Indians (3-2, 2-1 Class 5A, Region 6) to within 11 points.
Moore then rushed for a 60-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter, putting Clay-Chalkville up 41-23. Garrett answered on Pinson Valley’s next drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Gibson. Gibson then completed a 2-point conversion pass to junior Nathan Cunningham, making it a 41-31 contest with six minutes to play.
On fourth-and-19 from the Indians’ 22-yard line, Moore hit Clark in the corner of the end zone for a 22-yard touchdown with 3:17 to play, making it a 48-31 game. On the first play of Pinson Valley’s next possession, Garrett was intercepted by Clay-Chalkville junior linebacker LaDarius Harris.
For Clay-Chalkville, Clark caught five passes for 100 yards and two touchdowns. West rushed 17 times for 60 yards and caught three passes for 79 yards and a touchdown. Blockum had three receptions for 58 yards and a touchdown. Senior Christopher Marshall rushed 10 times for 60 yards. Defensively, junior defensive back Torrence Willis had a fumble recovery.
For Pinson Valley, Garrett completed 18-of-27 passes for 255 yards and four touchdowns and one interception. Gibson was held mostly in check, rushing 18 times for 76 yards. He caught seven passes for 99 yards and two touchdowns. Williams had five receptions for 47 yards and two touchdowns, while junior receiver Trey Underwood caught four passes for 66 yards. Defensively, junior cornerback Juray Smith had three pass breakups and a sack.
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