By Gary Lloyd
HUNTSVILLE — Clay-Chalkville cruised to an important Class 6A, Region 7 win over Huntsville at Milton Frank Stadium on Friday night.
Senior quarterback Hayden Moore completed 11-of-17 passes for 181 yards and three touchdowns, and also rushed for a touchdown, in the No. 8 Cougars’ 38-21 win over the Panthers.
“(The loss to Gadsden City) made us right,” said Moore, who threw his first interception of the season against Huntsville. “We got our minds right.”
Moore said the win gives Clay-Chalkville (7-1, 5-1) “great momentum” going into next week’s home game against Lee-Huntsville. A Clay-Chalkville win locks up a region championship.
Senior running back Sidney Battle rushed 14 times for 126 yards and a touchdown and also caught a touchdown pass. Junior running back Terrelle West rushed 15 times for 101 yards.
“We had to come back,” Battle said of overcoming last week’s loss. “This is a big win. We needed this win.”
Huntsville (5-3, 4-2) got on the board first when Fred Carodine rushed eight yards to cap an eight-play, 67-yard opening drive.
Moore’s first passing attempt of the game was then intercepted.
Moore found T.J. Simmons late in the first quarter for a 7-yard touchdown, tying the game. Patrick Millican booted a 27-yard field goal early in the second quarter to give Clay-Chalkville a 10-7 lead.
On Clay-Chalkville’s next possession, Moore found senior wideout Brian Clark on the left side. Clark sprinted down the sideline for a 70-yard score, making it a 17-7 Clay-Chalkville advantage.
Huntsville answered right back when quarterback Charles Hicklen scored on an 11-yard keeper with 3:29 left until halftime. The Cougars answered right back, though, pushing the lead to 24-14 when Moore kept for a 25-yard touchdown run.
A quick three-and-out highlighted by Johnathan Daniel and P.J. Walcott sacks gave Clay-Chalkville enough time to score again before the half. Moore hit Battle for a 19-yard score with :34 left until halftime, putting Clay-Chalkville up 31-14.
Hicklen found Justin Jones for a 9-yard score on Huntsville’s first possession of the third quarter to make it a 31-21 game. Battle scored on a 1-yard run on the Cougars’ next possession to make it 38-21.
Clay-Chalkville head coach Jerry Hood said a “tough, hard” week of practice helped Clay-Chalkville get the win.
“I am so proud of our defense,” Hood said. “I thought our offense was solid for most of the game. We got the job done. I’m proud of them.”
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