HOOVER, Alabama -- The Hoover Bucs used a stingy defense to win 34-10 over Hewitt-Trussville in a big Class 7A, Region 3 game at the Hoover Met on Friday night. The Bucs defense scored the first touchdown of the game and Hoover kept the lead for the rest of the game.
The Hoover defense did a great job of not giving up a big play for the most part of the game and cruised to the big region win against a very good Hewitt-Trussville offense. "I thought we came out and played with good intensity," said Bucs head coach Josh Niblett. "We had drives in the first half where we came away with field goals instead of touchdowns so we left points on the field. I'm proud of our kids. I challenged them all week that this is a game you want to play in. This is why you are at Hoover. We have to keep getting better. Great opportunity for us. For God be the Glory." The Hoover defense held Hewitt-Trussville to only 244 yards on the night.
Hoover (7-0, 4-0) scored when defensive lineman Terrell Jones had a scoop and score on a Huskies fumble. Linebacker DJ Estes made the hit on the Huskies QB and the ball rolled to Jones for the score. "We had a inside slant called and I saw one of my teammates hit the player and saw the loose ball," said Bucs DL Jones. "I picked it up and I just wanted to get into the end zone as soon as possible. I was just hoping no one would catch me. It was tough watching last week so this was great coming out and playing with my bros and getting the job done. The whole defense only giving up 10 points that was amazing." With the touchdown, Hoover took a 7-0 lead with 9:58 left in the first quarter.
The Bucs defense held Hewitt-Trussville to a punt on their next possession. The Bucs used a good mix of the run and pass to setup the Bucs first offensive touchdown. With 3:10 left in the first quarter, Ahamari Williams scored on a 2-yard touchdown run. With the score, Hoover led 14-0. Two big Meredith Bennett passes to K.J. Law over the middle of the Huskies defense setup the Bucs touchdown. Law finished the game with six receptions for 119 yards.
After the Hoover score, Hewitt-Trussville (5-2, 2-2) drove the field and William Curtis kicked a 23-yard field goal with :18 seconds left in the first quarter. With the score, the Huskies cut the Hoover lead to 14-3. Hoover came right back to get a score and with 2:03 left in the second quarter, Peyton Argent kicked a big 43-yard field goal. With the score, Hoover led 20-3.
Late in the first half, Hewitt-Trussville took the kickoff and came to a fourth-and-one play at their own 29-yard line. The Huskies decide to go for it and on a running play, the Bucs defense stuffed the run and took over the football deep in Hewitt-Trussville territory. "That was a huge play by our defense getting the ball back right before the half," added Niblett. "Getting the turnover on the scoop and score was big because of the tempo they came out with." With the short field, the Bucs took advantage of it. With only :24 seconds left in the half, Meredith hit Williams on the left sideline and the running back turned it up the field for a 13-yard touchdown. With the score, Hoover led 27-3 at halftime. Williams finished the game with 103 yards on 23 carries along with his 13-yard touchdown reception.
In the second half, the Bucs took the football and drove down the field and it looked liked they were going to score again, but Rickey Gibson picked off the pass at the Huskies 15-yard line to keep Hoover away from a scoring drive. The Huskies took the ball and on their next drive quarterback Cade Ott Carruth was banged up on a running play and was lost for the rest of the game.
Late in the third quarter, Hoover was driving again and Sky Niblett took a pass down to the Hewitt-Trussville 7-yard line but again the Huskies defense rose to the occasion. On the next play, safety Dawson Blount picked off a Bucs pass around the goal line to stop the Hoover drive. Hewitt-Trussville took the ball over and on this drive offensive lineman Kade Martin was injured and had to be carted off the field but the Huskies continued to fight on. Backup quarterback Peyton Floyd hit on a couple of pass plays and at the end of the third quarter, James Hammonds runs 33-yard for a touchdown. The Huskies cut the lead down to 27-10 at the end of the third quarter and gave Hewitt-Trussville a little momentum going into the fourth quarter.
The Hoover ground game took over the fourth quarter and really drained the clock. The Bucs had a fourth and one play at the Huskies 21-yard line and they converted on the first down with a Williams big eight yard run for a Bucs first down. On the next play with 5:45 left in the game, Williams scores on a 13-yard touchdown to give Hoover a 34-10 lead. "We prepared all week against a good offense and just needed to transfer all that practice to the game on Friday," said Bucs DL Markus Clark. "We knew that they were going to run the ball to keep us honest, but we knew that they wanted to throw the football this year so we knew we had to focus on it all. Last year, we knew they wanted to run the ball, but they were a lot more balanced this year."
Auburn commit Omari Kelly had five receptions for 60 yards and cornerback Dale Miller had the task of keeping the Huskies big time receiver in check for most of the night. "I had to play him at the right space and know his route combinations coming into the game," said Bucs CB Miller. "He is a great player and knew coming into the game that they were going to get him the ball. I knew I had to do my job tonight. This is a good win, a statement game for us."
Hammonds led the Huskies in rushing with 63 yards on 11 carries on the night. Carruth completed 7-of-12 passing for 101 yards. Bam White had 11 tackles on the night. For Hoover, Meredith completed 15-of-24 passing for 236 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Jordan Woolen had two receptions for 34 yards.
One big key in the game was the Bucs offensive line giving the Hoover passing game time to throw the football. The Huskies defensive line has been a strong point of the team and the Bucs offensive line was key for the Hoover offense. Allen Franklin, Houston Vessey, Jordan Washington, Jason Avelar and Ethan Hubbard played big in the win. "We were good on first down and to run the football and that is key in a game," said Niblett. "We challenged them and they knew what was in front of them. Our tight ends did a good job with them. I liked our effort and attitude this week. This is a special team."
Up next, Hoover will travel to Spain Park while Hewitt-Trussville will host Vestavia Hills.