By Gary Lloyd
CLAY — Minor may have a major problem.
Class 6A No. 2 Clay-Chalkville played on national television Saturday, and defeated one of the top programs in Florida by three touchdowns. The Cougars clicked on all cylinders despite not playing against another opponent since May’s spring game. There was no nervousness from the Cougars, who defeated Niceville 44-23 behind strong showings from every unit that stepped on the field.
Minor is opening up its season at Cougar Stadium at 7 p.m. Friday, the first game on new artificial turf. First-year Minor head football coach George Bates said that Minor, which posted a 4-6 record last season, returns nine total starters. Senior Heywood Spencer, a safety last season, will likely line up at quarterback. Senior cornerback Maurice Smitherman, a Mississippi State commitment, will likely return kicks and may see the offensive side of the ball, too.
Despite coming off an ESPNU-televised game, don’t expect a hangover game from Clay-Chalkville, which has too much excitement surrounding a home opener on a new field.
“If we don’t get better (this) week, this is for nothing,” Cougars head coach Jerry Hood said after the win over Niceville.
Senior running back Terrelle West admitted the win showed the state and nation that Clay-Chalkville is a “powerhouse.” But being a powerhouse means showing up to play every week.
“That’s all we’ll focus on — Friday,” West said.
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