On paper, it was an upset. But to many it was to be expected. The Hoover Bucs exploded in the third quarter with 29 points to beat the undefeated Hewitt Trussville Huskies 56-21 in the ALFCA Game of the Week.
Three losses this season had some believing that the Hoover dominance might be waining. But Buc coach Josh Niblett was not one of them. “We knew coming into the game how good they were, but we felt like we were a pretty good team, too,” Niblett said. “We played a pretty tough schedule. We were battle-tested.”
Hoover scored on their first offensive play when quarterback Jalen Parker found star receiver Shedrick Jackson with tight man coverage. Parker lofted a pass down the right sideline from 49 yards out and Hoover led 6-0. “When you look out there and Shedrick Jackson has press man with no safety help over the top, we’re going to take that matchup. We took it, and a heck of a way to start the game.”
Later in the first quarter, Parker found another star receiver with tight man coverage. 6’5 George Pickens made a brilliant one handed catch and the 23 yard touchdown gave Hoover a 13-0 lead.
Hewitt quarterback Paul Tyson brought the Huskies back in the second quarter. Tyson, who was 25-46 for 409 yards on the night, hit Logan Pitts from 2 yards out and Dazalin Worsham from 72 yards on a slant on the last play of the half to cut the Buc lead to 20-14 at intermission.
But Hoover scored on its first drive of the second half on Larry McCammon’s 10-yard run. The Bucs got the ball back moments later and McCammon ripped off a 61 yard run. Suddenly it was 35-14. The momentum was rolling and Hoover scored twice more in the third quarter, all in a 6 minute span. The Bucs lead going into the final quarter 56-14.
A Hewitt comeback attempt died moments later when Tyson fumbled on the Hoover one yard line. The Huskies ended the season at 11-1.
“Playing like we did tonight, you can’t beat hardly anybody,” Huskies coach Josh Floyd said. “They just outplayed us. We made so many mistakes that we haven’t made all year, not scoring in the red zone. The first series of the game, we messed up every single play. Give them credit. They outplayed us tonight.”
Hoover’s quarterback Parker led a powerful offense with 10-16 passing for 202 yards and also scored on a pair of one yard runs.
The Hoover defense, doubted for much of the season, stood strong in the big playoff test. They sacked Tyson nine times, with six of them by Devin Scott.
“Everybody’s been sleeping on our defense,” Niblett said. “Early on in the year, we had some kids who just hasn’t been in those moments and those situations. Now, they’re getting that opportunity and the game’s slowing down. Our defensive line played relentless and we were able to get some pressure on them.”
McCammon had 150 yards on 11 carries and Vontae Brackett had 101 yards and 2 touchdowns on 8 rushes for Hoover. Hewitt-Trussville’s Elliot McElwain had 54 yards rushing and 12 catches for 173 yards.
Hoover (9-3) moves on to a 7A semifinal match up next week with undefeated Thompson, who beat the Bucs 32-25 on october 27th.