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 Hoover 45, Thompson 26 Final | Friday, September 7, 2018 | Class 7A Region 3 Game 

WR #1 George Pickens (Hoover) warming up vs Thompson

HOOVER, Alabama -- The #1 Hoover Bucs scored three early touchdowns and it was to much for the #2 Thompson Warriors to overcome as Hoover goes on to defeat Thompson 46-28 in a big Class 7A Region 3 win Friday Night at the Hoover Met in front of 10,000 in attendance. Thompson won last year at the Met in the regular season and Hoover wanted to get this win on their home turf.

Hoover (2-1, 1-0) had the offense going for most of the night for all four quarters of the game. "We played good offense, we started off fast and I thought that was big," said Bucs head coach Josh Niblett. "God be the glory for the opportunity that we get to do what we do. When you get in atmosphere like this you have to play for four quarters and we did that tonight. When they run it and throw it, they are very, very good so we did a good job of getting them to give up the run and take the run game away and that helped our defense." 

Hoover had to punt on their first possession but a Warriors fumble on the punt return set Hoover up at the Warriors 2-yard line. With 8:32 left in the first quarter, Larry McCammon scored on a 2-yard touchdown run and the Bucs led 7-0 early. The Bucs defense turned the ball over to the offense and with 2:12 left in the first quarter, Robby Ashford hit George Pickens who ran over a defensive back at the goal line and Hoover took a 14-0 lead late in the quarter.

With 10:08 left in the second quarter, Ashford hit Xavier Long on a long pass in the end zone and Hoover led 21-0 and that lead really put Thompson in a hole to start the game. In the game, Ashford completed 13-of-25 passing for 206 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Ashford had some key runs in the game and finished with 152 yards on 12 carries and one touchdown.

Thompson (2-1, 0-1) had their first touchdown when Taulia Tagovailoa hit Kyle Smoak over the middle of the field and Thompson cut the Hoover lead to 21-6 with 7:31 left in the half. Hoover blocked the extra point. "We made to many mistakes in the first half," said Warriors head coach Mark Freeman. "This is a good game to go back after week 3 and see what we did good and correct what we need to correct. We will be ourselves better. When your young, you don't need mistakes to happen and they did. We played hard, we didn't quit and Hoover has a great program and they did a great job."

With 2:42 left in the second quarter, Will Reichard kicked a 41-yard field goal for a Hoover 24-6 lead. With 2:02 left in the half, Tagovailoa found AJ Bonham in the end zone for a Warriors touchdown. The 29-yard touchdown play cut the Hoover lead to 24-12, but the Warriors failed on the two-point conversion. "We knew that they were not going to run the ball," said Bucs linebacker Nick Curtis. "We thought that they would come out and throw the ball around so I think we did a good job with pressure and playing man. This was a big with for us since it was a region game."

In the second half, McCammon made a series run running over a Thompson defensive player and raced in the corner of the end zone for a 23-yard Bucs touchdown run. With 7:02 left in the third quarter, Hoover led 31-13. McCammon dinged his shoulder last week against St. Johns but the Bucs senior running back wasn't going to sit out this game. "Larry loves this program and will protect this program," said Niblett. "We gives a chance to win and is an unbelievable player." McCammon had 103 yards on 21 carries along with three touchdowns.

With 6:15 left in the third quarter, Tagovailoa hit Mike Pettway on a 48-yard touchdown pass that was placed right on the money on a deep ball by the Warriors QB. With the Thompson touchdown, Hoover still led 31-20. With 2:46 left in the third quarter, Tagovailoa threw to Pettway on a 10-yard touchdown pass over the middle of the end zone. With the Warriors touchdown, the Hoover lead was cut to 31-26. Elijia Clayton picked off a Hoover touchdown to give the Warriors a short field for the score. Tagovailoa finished the game completing 33-of-61 for 478 yards with four touchdowns and the one interception. The one interception was the first of the season in three games to go with 13 touchdowns.

In the fourth quarter is was all Hoover. Ashford scored on a 4-yard touchdown run and with 10:41 left in the game Hoover lead 38-26. With 5:34 left in the game, McCammon scored on a 5-yard touchdown run to give Hoover the 45-26 lead. Defensive back Jabari Moore picked off a Thompson pass to set up the last Bucs touchdown. "I saw the receiver out their by himself and I thought is was a slant," said Hoover DB Moore. "I bailed out on it and broke on the ball. Coach told us to step up and make a play and I was in the right spot to do it. We knew we had to step up and make a play."

Hoover in the game overcame 17 penalties for 180 yards. With the win, Hoover improves to 22-1 overall against Thompson. Up next, Hoover will travel to Hewitt-Trussville while Thompson will host Oak Mountain.

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