CLAY, Alabama -- The #1 Clay-Chalkville Cougars used a strong run game and their stingy defense to defeat Hueytown 42-8 in Cougar Stadium on Friday night. The Cougars defense has only given up one touchdown in two games against Briarwood Christian and Hueytown.
"I thought our guys played hard and physical," said Cougars head coach Drew Gilmer. "Our defense did a good job of tackling. Anytime you can box in Earl a little bit and not give up the big, this is a good night. I thought we played well on both sides of the football. Very proud of our guys. The defense has played great. They are playing like a unit these last two games."
On Hueytown's first possession, the Gophers offense moved the ball down the field but came up short on a fourth and goal as quarterback Earl Woods was turned away inside the Cougars 10-yard line. Clay-Chalkville took over the ball, and on the third and long play, defensive back Jakilyn Jones picked off a Cougars pass to give the ball back to the Gophers offense. After the turnover, Hueytown drove the ball down the field, and with 3:01 left in the first quarter, Woods scored on an 8-yard touchdown run to give the Gophers a 6-0 lead. The two-point conversion failed.
Clay-Chalkville (2-0) didn't trail long as on their next possession; the Cougars scored with 11:05 left in the second quarter when Kamari McClellan hit Jaylen Mbakwe deep down the field on a 38-yard touchdown pass. McClellan found Jabari Staples for the two-point conversion, and the Cougars took an 8-6 lead early in the second quarter. With 6:26 left in the second quarter, Clay-Chalkville scored again. This time Zac McCray scores on a 5-yard touchdown run. Also, McCray scored on the two-point conversion, and the Cougars led 16-6 late in the first half.
Hueytown moved the ball to midfield after the Clay-Chalkville score, but the drive stalled, and Hueytown had to punt. The Gophers pinned the Cougars down on their 1-yard line. Three plays later, the Hueytown (0-2) defense scored a safety and cut the Cougars lead to 16-8 late in the first half. The Cougars defense gave the ball back to the offense, and they drove down the field. A big pass play from McClellan to Marlon Compton set up the Cougars offense deep into Gophers territory. A few plays later, McClellan scores on a 5-yard touchdown run, and the Cougars led 22-8 with only:32 seconds left in the half.
The Cougars defense made the big play coming out of halftime. With Hueytown driving, defensive lineman Devin Finley picked off a Hueytown pass and raced 80-yards for a touchdown. With the score, the Cougars took a 30-8 lead early in the second half. "We game plan, game plan, and game plan," said Cougars DB Ormond Wallace. "We try to eliminate the big play. You have to trust each other on the team. We all have a job to do. We're not looking down the road; we treat every opponent equally. Plan for each one of them." In the last two games, the Cougars defense had to play against two of the top quarterbacks in 6A. Briarwood has Christopher Vizzina, and Hueytown has Woods.
The Cougars drove again, and a big pass reception from Mario Byrd set up the Cougars next score. With 2:21 left in the third quarter, Rodreckus Johnson scored on a 1-yard touchdown run, and the Cougars led 36-8.
Clay-Chalkville scored again with only 1:40 left in the game when Johnson scored on a 24-yard touchdown run, and Clay-Chalkville took a 42-8 lead. The Cougars used a strong run game and a stingy defense to win. These two teams played in the 6A championship game last season, where Clay-Chalkville won the game.
Mario Craver was out for the game, and the Cougars should get him back in a few weeks. Both teams move into region play next week. Clay-Chalkville will host Pell City, while Hueytown will host Brookwood.