By Bobby Mathews, sports editor
CLAY — No one can say the Cougars don’t respond when they’re down. After Jasper took the opening kickoff all the way back for a touchdown in Friday’s matchup of 6A Region 6 foes, Clay-Chalkville did pretty much whatever it wanted.
The Cougars (3-0, 1-0) racked up nearly 70 points on a team that was 2-0 coming into the game, and it didn’t take them long to do it. At halftime the score was 55-14. The final was a gaudy 68-21 as the Cougars dominated.
Jasper may have had dreams of making noise in the region, but Clay-Chalkville quickly put the Vikings in their place. And they did it by using multiple weapons at various points in the game. For much of the contest, Jasper looked confused and flat-out out of its depth.
After a 47-yard kickoff return by Marquarius White, senior tailback Edward Osley tied the game for Clay-Chalkville, 7-7. A few plays later, Khalib Johnson hit Jaylen Mbakwe for a 13-yard touchdown, and the Cougars led for the first time. They never looked back. Osley scored again. Johnson found Mbakwe again. Cam’Ron Williams scored twice. Mario Craver had a 60-yard punt return for a touchdown.
It was a head-spinning display of firepower.
The Cougars are now 1-0 in what is widely regarded as the most difficult region in 6A. The fewest points they’ve scored this season was in a 40-0 romp over hapless Shades Valley to open the season. The next week, this offense racked up 57 points. Now they’ve hit 68. This Friday they play at Gardendale in another region matchup.
If there’s a weakness on the Clay-Chalkville team, it may be that their substitutes aren’t quite the same caliber as the starters — at least not yet. The Cougar second unit has given up some points in the early part of the season, although it does need to be pointed out that the Cougars only gave up another 7 points after the half against Jasper.
That’s impressive. It’s also impressive to see 68 points put up on a region foe. In 2020, Clay-Chalkville won this matchup 40-7. The Cougars play Gardendale this Friday, but every CCHS fan is eyeing that October 15 matchup against Pinson Valley. The people in the Clay-Chalkville area feel like the tide is turning in their favor, but in order for the Cougars to get where they want to be, they’ll have to go through the Indians — and everyone knows it.
Clay-Chalkville isn’t just winning. They’re handing out beatings. That’s why they’re The Tribune’s Team of the Week.
The Tribune’s Team of the Week is sponsored by Courtesy Buick GMC.