By Gary Lloyd
TRUSSVILLE — How do you follow up playing the top-ranked team in Class 7A?
You play the top-ranked team in Class 6A.
That’s exactly what Hewitt-Trussville will do Thursday night at Hewitt-Trussville Stadium when it hosts Clay-Chalkville, less than a week after it fell to Hoover. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
“It doesn’t get any easier for us,” said first-year Hewitt-Trussville head coach Josh Floyd. “We haven’t had an easy game all dadgum year. We’ll strap it up again for Week 10 and see what happens.”
Floyd is right about Hewitt-Trussville (5-4, 3-4 Class 7A, Region 3). When it kicks off against Clay-Chalkville, six of its 10 games this season will have been against ranked opponents. But the Huskies have gotten better week by week. They took Hoover down to the wire last week.
Hewitt-Trussville senior defensive back Jarett Nelson said Clay-Chalkville is similar to Hoover in size and physicality.
“I think we showed we can compete with big teams and (this) week we’re going to come out with the same thing and try to come out with a win,” he said.
Hewitt-Trussville is scoring 31 points per game but is allowing 28. The defense will need to come up big against one of the state’s top offenses.
“They may have the most explosive offense in the state,” Floyd said.
Clay-Chalkville leads the all-time series against Hewitt-Trussville 11-6, winning the last six in a row. The 31-15 win in 2011, however, was stripped due to the Cougars playing an ineligible player. The Huskies haven’t beaten the Cougars on the field since 2008.
How does Hewitt-Trussville end that streak?
Offensively, Hewitt-Trussville will need time-consuming scoring drives to keep the Clay-Chalkville offense benched. Something that seemed to work well against Hoover was quarterback Zac Thomas rolling in the pocket and spreading out the Bucs defense. Nine of his 16 completions went for 15 yards or more. The Hewitt-Trussville defense in recent weeks has dropped a couple would-be interceptions, a couple that might have gone for touchdowns. Those can’t be dropped in this game.
If Hewitt-Trussville can keep the game close entering the fourth quarter and put together a long scoring drive late, it could have a chance to upset Clay-Chalkville.
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.