The #5 Hewitt-Trussville Huskies will travel to the Hoover Met and face the Hoover Bucs in a big Class 7A, Region 3 contest on Friday night. The Huskies are riding a three-game winning streak coming off a win against Tuscaloosa County, while the Bucs lost to cross-town rival Vestavia Hills last Friday night.
Hewitt Trussville (3-1, 2-0) is averaging 37.5 points on offense and has a lot of dynamic pieces on offense. "I have been proud of our guys the way they have played the last few weeks," said Huskies head coach Josh Floyd. "We kicked off the season with Central (Phenix City), one of the most talented teams in the state. We had our opportunities and chances that game but didn't get it done in a few areas. We played a good Gadsden (City) team with a tough road game and came away with a win. I think our defense has stepped it up the last few weeks and has played well. Offensively, we have done a better job of scoring in the red zone."
The Huskies offense is centered around the 7A Offensive Player of the Year last season in quarterback Peyton Floyd. "Being a senior, Peyton brings us more of a leadership role," added Floyd. "I believe he has grown in that area. He has waited a long time and wants to compete for a championship. He understands that guys are looking up to him and has played very well the first weeks of the season." The senior QB has completed 67-of-97 passing for 980 yards with ten touchdowns and only one interception. Also, Floyd has 191 yards on 42 carries and three touchdowns on the season.
The running backs are talented, with Kennedy Mitchell and Jaqson Melton. "Kennedy is a powerful and fast runner," said Floyd. "Probably our strongest kid pound for pound in the weight room with great speed." Mitchell has 156 yards on 36 carries and four touchdowns. Melton is another big back that has speed along with power. Melton has 190 yards on 36 carries and two touchdowns. Melton adds 48 yards on two receptions on the season.
The receiving core has four good ones, along with the tight end. Jadon Loving, Jacob Serena, and Dylan Cope work most of the field. Tight end Donovan Price flares out for screens or catches the ball over the middle with the best of them. "Pleased with our pass game for the entire season," said Floyd. "We have a lot of confidence with this group and had some guys step up. Donovan, being an all-state guy, is having a great season. He is a big part of the offense and a great blocker with our offensive line."
The offensive line play of Mason Holloway, Drew Johnson, Micah Valdez, Trevor Pruet, and Jordan Sherman has played well. The Huskies hope to have four-year starter Kade Martin back sometime this season.
The defense had to replace a lot of experience at linebacker, but they have played well this season. Linebackers Clayton Hollis, Owen Robinson, Parker Floyd, and Jadon Cantley lead the way. Floyd leads the team with 29 tackles and six tackles for loss as a sophomore.
The front line has Conner Durden, Holloway, and Ayden Moore for the Huskies. Holloway plays the offensive line but in different situations on the defensive side of the ball. Senior Tyrell Averhart has been out all season. The talented nose guard is one of the best in the state when he is on the field.
The secondary has three-year starter Riggs Dunn. Dunn is an exceptional special team star and has been valuable to the Huskies secondary. "Riggs is the quarterback of the secondary, really the whole defense," added Floyd. "He makes your team get in the right positions on defense. We rely on him for many things." With Dunn are Gavin Williams, Will Phillips, and Michael Igbinoghene.
Trip Ward has been handling the kicking duties for the Huskies.
The Hoover Bucs (1-3, 1-1) are averaging 17.5 points per game and looking to be more consistent on the offensive side of the ball. The Bucs only win came against Spain Park. Hoover needs to find a little more punch on the offensive side of the ball to take some pressure off the defense.
"Inconsistently has been everywhere, and that is what I would describe us right now," said Bucs head coach Wade Waldrop. "We have seen some good things on film that you like, but you go to another series, and it all goes wrong."
Quarterback Noah Schuback leads the way for the Bucs offense. Schuback has all the skills for a sophomore and looks for a big game against Hewitt-Trussville. The Bucs offense has a stable of running backs. Last week against Vestavia Hills, the Bucs used Chalmers Peters, Kamal Amerson, Anderson Howard, and Fred Dunson. Dunson scored a touchdown against Vestavia Hills. Dunson has been a receiver in the past for the Bucs offense.
The receiving core has one of the best in the state. Jordan Woolen can stretch the defense with the best of them and look for the Bucs to take their shots on the outside with him. Slot receiver Jonah Winston can make big plays, and need to get him and Woolen a lot of touches. Winston will run the wildcat at times for the offense. Demarion Gardner is another speed guy for the Bucs offense. Tight end Chris Warren is a good pass catcher and blocker. Sophomore Tyson Batchelor comes in at times with the two-tight-end look.
The offensive line needs to keep improving. The Bucs linemen of Thaddus Fields, Storm Fain, Trot English, Rashad Smith, and Toby Richard will need to play big in this game and provide protection for Schuback.
"We had a total lack of execution last week," added Waldrop. "The pieces are here, and we had a good week of practice. We have to correct our issues, and we have to mature and grow up."
The Hoover defense has one of the best players in the state. Linebacker Bradley Shaw leads the way. Shaw can go all over the field to make defensive plays. Linebackers Cooper Darty, and Trey Sanders get playing time. The front line of Micah Hampton, Cameron Torbor, Micahel Nicxon, and Pa landing Drammeh get most of the playing time.
The secondary of Jamar Moultrie, Treshawn Darden, Kasey, Zylstra, Steele Lowery, and Dylan Bunkley must play big against the Huskies passing game. Moultrie had an interception against Vestavia Hills last week. "JJ had one of the best off seasons in our program and has played very well," said Waldrop. "He is an outstanding football player. He is not afraid of hard work and is a competitor. Sold out to be the best defensive player that he can be."
Matthew Daibes handles the kicking duties for the Bucs.