By Joshua Huff, sports editor
CLAY – Clay-Chalkville has quietly become a team that nobody wants to face come the playoffs. Winners of their past four games, and seven out of their nine games, the Cougars have crept up the Class 6A, Region 6 standings following an 0-2 start to region play.
Currently, Clay-Chalkville sits just behind Gardendale (7-2, 4-2) in the final playoff spot.
The Cougars now travel to face Gadsden City this Friday in the regular season finale for both teams. The Titans enter the contest riding high following their first win of the season, a 17-14 victory over Grissom. Leading up to that win, Gadsden City had lost nine straight games dating back to 2018.
Coincidentally, it was the Cougars who started that losing streak for the Titans after the Cougars won, 45-17, to cap last season. That loss for Gadsden City snapped a three-game winning streak and propelled the Titans into a 2019 season that could more or less be forgotten.
For its first win of the season, Gadsden City held on to defeat Grissom despite the Titans jumping out to a 17-0 lead. Grissom narrowed that lead to three points in the fourth quarter, but a stellar punt by the Titan’s Daniel Sparks forced Grissom to start its final drive on its own 1-yard line. The Titans subsequently forced four straight completions to regain possession and walk away with the victory.
Gadsden City now faces a Clay-Chalkville team playing its best football of the season.
Since the Cougar’s bye week on September 27, they have defeated four consecutive region opponents in Shades Valley, Pell City, Oxford and Huffman. Three of those four games were on the road. The Cougars are an impressive 5-0 away from the friendly confines of Cougar Stadium.
In the victory against Huffman, Clay-Chalkville’s Marquarius White recorded two passing touchdowns and Khalib Johnson scored the final touchdown of the game. The Cougars’ defense held Huffman to just six points. In its past four games, Clay-Chalkville’s defense has allowed just 10 points per game.
With its playoff opponent already set in stone (at Helena), the Cougars look to carry over a momentous second-half to the season against a Gadsden City team that historically has had its way against the Cougars. The Titans lead the all-time series 6-3.
However, Gadsden City last defeated Clay-Chalkville, 24-21, during the 2013 season.