There are few things more dangerous in Alabama high school football than a Hoover team with three regular season losses. It has been 10 years since the Bucs lost more than two games in the regular season. To those who think that this Hoover team is down a notch or two from the normal standard should read the warning label very carefully.
In the second round of the 7A state playoffs, the Bucs meet an undefeated Hewitt Trussville squad that has scorched the turf on every opponent on 2016. Of their 11 straight wins, only three times have they failed to reach 40 points or more. The Huskie offense, which prides itself in fast play, had averaged 46.7 points per game under Coach Josh Floyd. Floyd is in his fourth season and has the Hewitt faithful believing that a trip to the finals is a real possibility. This offense has burnt their opponents for 526 yards per game.
Coach Josh Niblett’s Hoover Bucs are no slouch on offense. They have averaged 36.2 points per game and 368 yards of offense. Dual threat quarterback Jalen Parker has had an under the radar good season. Parker has thrown for 1800 yards with 12 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions. They have two quality runners in Larry McCammon and Vontae Brackett. Wide receivers George Pickens, who is 6’5 and has 31 catches for 462 yards and Shedrick Jackson, who has 38 receptions for 696 yards and 5 TDs, are both Auburn University commitments. Once again the Bucs have a quality offensive line.
Shedrick Jackson will be needed by Hoover to have a big game. Photo credit Al.com
Hewitt Trussville’s quarterback Paul Tyson has been terrific in 2017. The junior quarterback has almost 3,000 yards passing and has thrown for a school record 33 touchdowns. Elliott McElwain has been the workhorse running and receiving, compiling 1,772 yards of offense and 17 scores. The Huskies prefer an up tempo offense, particularly when they have the defense on its heels.
The key to the game may be which defense can get third down stops and turnovers. Hewitt’s Simon Miskelley and Trevor Sisk have led the way as run-stoppers at linebacker. Junior linebacker Nick Curtis has stepped up his play on defense in the second half of the season for Hoover.
There’s really no question which team has faced the tougher schedule.
Hoover not only competed in Class 7A, Region 3 with Thompson, Mountain Brook, Spain Park and the like, the Bucs went to Georgia to take on powerful Grayson and hosted Meridian, Miss., and Florida’s IMG Academy, the No. 2 team in the country. Their only in-state loss was to unbeaten Thompson, the second-ranked team in 7A.
Hoover at 8-3 on the season, continues to be the golden standard for high school football in the state of Alabama. That happens when you have been to the state championship game 15 times in the last 17 years.
The Huskies (11-0), ranked No. 18 in the country by USA Today, are hungry to get a shot at the king of Alabama prep football.
Paul Tyson leads the Huskies into their biggest game of the season vs. Hoover
Hewitt Coach Josh Floyd probably said it best. “We’ve got to play really well. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing at this stage. It’s the quarterfinals of the state playoffs, you’ve got to play well to win.”
“It’s going to be fun. We’re looking forward to it.”