By Erik Harris
For The Tribune
It’s not how they would’ve played it out in Hollywood. There was no unexpected twist or inspirational triumph from the less fortunate accompanied by some cheesy music in the final moments. It was cold, boring and built by champions.
“You like to have a tough game that you won in the last second and it’s thrilling and all that, but it doesn’t take away the accomplishment of the kids,” said Clay-Chalkville head coach Jerry Hood.
Clay-Chalkville (8-1, 6-1 Class 6A, Region 7) needed one last win to a claim a Class 6A, Region 7 title, and the No. 6 Cougars left no room for doubt as they shut out Lee-Huntsville 55-0 Friday night at Cougar Stadium.
The players joyously chanted “three peat, three peat!” at the 50-yard-line just moments after shaking hands. The chant honored not only last year’s team, but also the 2011 team that won the region championship on the field before being striped of several wins for playing an ineligible player.
“If you’re a senior at our school, the three years you played varsity football you’ve won the region,” Hood said. “That’s never been done in school history.”
But unlike the 2011 team, this year’s squad is playoff bound, and will host Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa in two weeks.
With a 35-0 lead less than two minutes into the second quarter, Clay-Chalkville pulled several starters, including senior quarterback and homecoming king Hayden Moore. Moore played four series for the home team, all ending in the end zone.
He went 5-of-6 for 87 yards passing and two scores—a 14-yarder to Cordell Scott and a 34-yarder to T.J. Simmons.
“I felt good, I had some good passes, I made the right reads and it went well for the series that I did play,” Moore said.
Sophomore Darryien Wilson took the reigns of the offense early in the second quarter with a 35-0 cushion to work with. He went 2-for-2 on the night for 47 yards and a touchdown—a 34-yard diving effort by Brian Clark to make the score 42-0 with 5:56 remaining in the first half.
The Cougars, to put it simply, took care of business in the final region game. The offense tallied 398 yards of offense, most of which came in the first half. Defensively, Clay-Chalkville allowed only 116 yards of offense to the Generals, all coming on the ground.
Clay-Chalkville’s defense found the end zone more times than the Lee-Huntsville’s offense did. Jalen Dawson scooped up a fourth-quarter fumble and took it 35 yards for the score. Dawson’s touchdown finalized the contest at 55-0.