By Gary Lloyd
CLAY — The offenses rolled in this Class 6A first-round playoff matchup a season ago.
Clay-Chalkville rolled to a 41-14 halftime lead and eventually won out over Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa, 56-35.
Of the eight touchdowns that Clay-Chalkville players scored that night, only two players remain on this year’s team — wide receivers T.J. Simmons and Eric Blockum. Former Clay-Chalkville wideout Brian Clark caught three touchdowns and former running back Sidney Battle rushed for three. Former quarterback Hayden Moore threw all those touchdown passes.
So some key weapons are gone from last season, but Clay-Chalkville has reloaded. Junior quarterback Tyrell Pigrome has already shown he’s a threat through the air and on the ground. Senior running back Terrelle West wasn’t asked to do much in this game last season, yet still gained 81 yards on just six carries. Simmons has emerged as the go-to wideout, scoring touchdowns on all five of his touches thus far — four touchdown receptions and one rushing score.
And don’t forget about the Clay-Chalkville defense, which plays fast and physical. Through two games, senior cornerback Kam Prewitt has three interceptions and a fumble recovery.
Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (0-1) lost its season opener at home last week to Oak Mountain, 28-26. Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa had a big game from its quarterback, Chad Hunter Wyatt, who threw for more than 200 yards and two scores. A backup running back rushed for more than 100 yards, and two wide receivers also totaled more than 100 yards through the air each.
The problem for Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa was the run defense. Oak Mountain rushed for nearly 400 yards as a team.
Expect the Cougars to keep rolling and remain undefeated after Friday’s game.
Contact Gary Lloyd at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.