By Erik Harris
ADAMSVILLE – With its second win of the season over Minor (8-5), No. 1 Clay-Chalkville has improved to 13-0 on the season as it prepares for next week’s Class 6A semifinals.
The Cougars, in their second trip to Tony Lunceford Stadium, dominated the hosts to the tune of a 50-14 final. Clay-Chalkville won the first meeting, 49-15, on Aug. 28.
“I felt good about our preparation this week,” said Clay-Chalkville head coach Jerry Hood. “The kids exceeded my expectations tonight, because Minor had been on such a great roll and they have such great players.”
The visitors cashed in on some greedy play from twins Amari and Armoni Holloway, who both reside in the Cougar secondary. Three Holloway turnovers led to 21 Clay-Chalkville points on Friday night.
Amari got things started with a fumble recovery on the Minor 23-yard-line early in the opening quarter. The short field was traveled in six plays, concluded by quarterback Ty Pigrome’s 2-yard touchdown on an option keeper to draw first blood.
Amari struck again late in the second quarter. The senior stepped in front of a Drequan’ Pritchett pass over the middle and returned it back to the Minor 11-yard-line. One play later, running back Brandon Berry scampered into the end zone to give his team a 27-6 lead with 4:30 remaining in the half.
But, like Clay-Chalkville has done many times before, they found a way to squeeze in another score at the tail end of the second quarter. Kicker Andrew Van Winkle did the honors this time, splitting the uprights from 21 yards out to end the half holding a 30-6 lead.
Armoni wouldn’t do his damage until the final frame, but his tip-drill interception ended a small Tiger’s surge with less than ten minutes remaining. After Amari got his hands on another Pritchett attempt over the middle, Armoni pulled the deflection in and proceeded to return the mistake back inside the Minor ten.
On the next snap, A. J. Walker went eight yards for his first of two touchdown runs of the evening to push the lead up to 29 points with 8:50 remaining. The senior ball carrier didn’t wait long to get back in the end zone, ripping through the middle of the Minor defense for a 42-yard score on the following drive to put to rest a lopsided contest.
Walker and Berry did serious damage from the Clay-Chalkville backfield, combining for 225 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Walker cashed in on two of those scores and finished with 113 bruising yards. Berry did equal damage (112 yards and a touchdown) as a slashing runner.
Pigrome had his struggles through the air, but still managed a three-touchdown performance (two on the ground and another through the air). He completed 11 of his 20 attempts for 110 yards while tucking it up for another 91 yards on the ground.
His one touchdown pass went to Nico Collins on a quick slant from four yards out with less than five to play in the second frame. That score followed up a beautiful first quarter touchdown rush by Dez Williams, who spun out of danger and went by the entire Minor secondary for a 23-yard sprint to the end zone.
When Pritchett was avoiding the Holloway twins, he had a pretty strong night. The senior went 17-of-28 through the air for 176 yards and a touchdown. He scored the only other Tiger touchdown on a 4-yard rush midway through the second quarter.
Waiting in the semifinals for the Cougars will be No. 8 Austin, who got past No. 10 Gardendale by a count of 53-38. With a win over the Black Bears, Clay-Chalkville would advance to the Super 7 in Bryant-Denny Stadium on the campus of the University of Alabama.
Erik Harris is the Sports Editor for the Trussville Tribune. Follow him on Twitter@jeharris2 or email him at email@example.com.