Britney Bailey, For the Tribune
CLAY – The Clay-Chalkville Cougars continued taking care of business Friday night at home against the Cullman Bearcats in the first round of the AHSAA playoffs with a 49-6 victory.
Quarterback Jaylen Mbakwe hit the ground running to put the Cougars within the 10-yard line on their first possession of the game, with Taurus Chambers finishing off the drive for a touchdown.
The Cougars took an early 7-0 lead with over 8 minutes to go in the first.
Mbakwe found his go-to man, Mario Craver, in the endzone on their next possession for a 36-yard touchdown pass to up the Cougar lead to 14 after the PAT.
Mbakwe followed up with an 18-yard touchdown run with just over 2 minutes to go in the first, putting the Cougars up 21-0.
The Cougar defense reigned supreme, with Rod Ivy snatching Bearcat quarterback Tanner Gaines’ pass right out of his intended receiver’s grasp. Aaron Osley led the charge with a 6-yard trot to the endzone for another Cougar touchdown.
Ivy reared his head yet again on the Bearcats’ next possession with another interception, putting the Cougars inside the 15-yard line.
Chambers found the endzone once more with a 3-yard scurry up the middle to give the Cougars a comfortable 35-0 lead to start off the second quarter.
Marlon Compton took a shovel pass from Mbakwe down the sideline for 44 yards putting the Cougars on the Bearcats’ 30-yard line.
Mbakwe rounded off the drive with a barreling 30-yard touchdown run to give the Cougars a 42-0 lead going into halftime.
Craver capped off the night for the Cougars with a 41-yard zinger from Mbawke, for a 49-0 lead. The Bearcats would squeak through the Cougar defense for the first time with seconds remaining in the ballgame, for a final score of 49-0.
Cougar Head Coach Drew Gilmer on his plan for Mountain Brook in the next round, “That’s what we’re going to do tonight, tomorrow and Sunday, watch film and figure it out.”
The Cougars will face Mountain Brook at home in Cougar Stadium for round two of the playoffs next Friday night at 7pm.