By Gary Lloyd
Call it the battle of the dual-threat quarterbacks.
Clay-Chalkville senior Hayden Moore is a Cincinnati commitment. Florence senior Kendrick Doss has pledged to play at Ole Miss.
The Cougars and the Falcons face off Friday in the second round of the AHSAA Class 6A playoffs. Kickoff at Cougar Stadium is at 7 p.m.
No. 3 Clay-Chalkville (10-1) beat Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 56-35 last week. Florence (8-3) got by Mountain Brook, 33-21.
Both teams are more than their quarterbacks. Clay-Chalkville is supported by an outstanding, deep running game led by Terrelle West and Sidney Battle. Wideout Brian Clark is one of the best in the state at his position. The offensive line is experienced and strong.
Florence offensive lineman Cole Hardin is a 6-foot-5, 293-pound Vanderbilt commitment. Fellow offensive lineman Daniel Keith has scholarship offers from UAB, Arkansas State, Georgia Southern, Memphis, Middle Tennessee State, North Texas, South Alabama, Tulane, Wake Forest and Western Kentucky.
Defensive back Quade Alexander is committed to Southern Miss and defensive end Walter Brady is heading to Middle Tennessee State. Defensive back D.J. Armstead, wide receiver Isaac Dillard, running back Ronnie Vaughn and defensive end Kendrick Cole are also being recruited.
“They’re a great team,” said Clay-Chalkville head coach Jerry Hood. “They probably have more Division I players on this team than we’ve had at Clay in all my years here. I’m sure we’re going to be the underdog, but we’re going to show up and see what happens.”
Expect another shootout, similar to the Cougars’ round one victory over Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa. Clay-Chalkville is averaging 46 points per game, scoring 48-plus points in seven of its 11 games this season.
The teams’ defenses are similar. Clay-Chalkville has given up 19.7 points per game this season. Florence has allowed 20.5 points per game. A costly turnover here and there could define this game. The winner gets the winner of the No. 6 Shades Valley (10-1) vs. No. 1 Hoover (11-0) game in the quarterfinals.
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.