By Gary Lloyd
CLAY — Clay-Chalkville High School now owns two Class 6A state championship titles in football.
The first came in 1999. The latest came last week.
On Dec. 4, 1999, the Cougars defeated Robert E. Lee (Montgomery) 30-27 in overtime to win the Class 6A state title at Legion Field in Birmingham. On Dec. 5, 2014, the Cougars defeated Saraland 36-31 in Auburn University’s Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Robert E. Lee led the Cougars 17-10 at halftime in 1999. Clay-Chalkville led Saraland 16-7 at the half last week.
In 1999, the third quarter belonged to Clay-Chalkville, which got a 9-yard touchdown from Stuart Floyd to Tavarous Doyle and a 31-yard TD run by Doyle to take a 24-17 lead into the final quarter. Saraland had the big third quarter last week, scoring 17 points and leading the Cougars 24-22 entering the final frame.
In 1999, a touchdown for Robert E. Lee with :36 left tied the game at 24, sending it to overtime. A field goal gave Robert E. Lee a 27-24 lead, but Dewey Stoudmire’s 10-yard touchdown run on the Cougars’ first snap gave them the 30-27 victory.
Last week, with 5:46 left, Clay-Chalkville quarterback Ty Pigrome found T.J. Simmons for a 79-yard TD down the Saraland sideline. Jordan Young passed to Pigrome for the two-point conversion, giving the Cougars a 30-24 lead.
Saraland answered six plays later when Tyler Sims found the end zone from 23 yards out on fourth-and-1. The extra point gave the Spartans a 31-30 advantage.
Only four plays later, Pigrome bolted 47 yards for a touchdown with 2:10 to play. The two-point conversion attempt failed, leaving Clay-Chalkville with a 36-31 lead. Saraland marched down the field quickly and got to the Clay-Chalkville 25-yard line with :34 left. After two incompletions, Nick McDaniel sacked quarterback Chris Weaver for a seven-yard loss with :25 left. The fourth down pass attempt fell incomplete near the end zone.
Doyle finished that 1999 game with 12 rushes for 98 yards. He caught five passes for 69 yards. He scored three touchdowns and was named MVP. Pigrome was named MVP last week after completing 15-of-20 passes for 255 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed 14 times for 101 yards and three scores.
Both Clay-Chalkville championships were the closest title games played in any classification in their respective years. The average score for state championship games in 1999 in Classes 1A-5A was 36-16, not including the Cougars’ three-point win. The Class 1A game was also a three-point margin, but didn’t require overtime.
The average score for state championship games this year in Classes 1A-7A was 41-14, not including the Cougars’ five-point win.
Both thrilling finishes. Both Clay-Chalkville victories.
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.