TCI Sports/Barry Stephenson
Hoover's Vonte' Brackett (5) in a game between Hoover and Oak Mountain on Friday, September 30, 2016, at Heardmont Park in Birmingham, Alabama.
Last Friday night, the Hoover High School football team looked like a car engine clicking on all cylinders in its 49-6 win over Oak Mountain.
The offense was outstanding. Quarterback Garrett Farquhar effectively vanquished the offense’s woes of not being able to punch the ball into the end zone consistently. Every time the Bucs sniffed the end zone, they capitalized with a touchdown.
Farquhar spread the ball around to an array of targets, completing 9-of-16 passes for 193 yards and four scores, each to a different receiver.
“Knowing that I’ve got a lot of good receivers out there, it puts a lot of confidence in my head,” Farquhar said. “Being able to spread it around really helps. It makes the defense have to worry about a lot of different threats.”
Kam Ford opened up the scoring with a 46-yard touchdown reception. Jimmy Turner scored on a 27-yard pass. Shedrick Jackson and Cortez Hall also found the end zone.
R.J. Randle touched the ball just three times from the running back position. He scored twice.
The defense was top-flight, especially given the fact they were defending the triple option attack of Oak Mountain.
“Any time you run the triple option like they do – and they’re good at it – you have to make sure assignment-wise you do what you’re supposed to do,” said Hoover head coach Josh Niblett.
Save for a halfback pass from Ethan Duncan to Luke Percer for the Eagles’ only touchdown of the night, the Hoover defense put the clamps on Oak Mountain. The Bucs limited big plays and also “set the tone” early in the game, according to Niblett, with a pair of turnovers.
KJ Vault set Hoover up with great field position twice, recovering a fumble and intercepting a tipped pass in the first half. The Bucs capitalized each time.
The special teams were solid as well. A 41-yard punt return from Hall led to Turner’s touchdown on the ensuing play, and Barret Pickering was a perfect 7-for-7 on extra point kicks.
All three units will need to be at their best again for tonight’s contest, a 7 p.m. matchup against Huffman at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.
The Vikings have hung tough in their first season in Class 7A, Region 3, and are currently one of four teams with a 2-2 mark in region play. With just two region contests remaining after tonight’s matchup, a win is critical to their playoff hopes.
The two programs last met in 2003 and this is the first season they have been region foes. Hoover won 50-15 in a 2003 playoff game and holds a 14-1-1 edge in the all-time series.
The Bucs are currently riding a four-game winning streak, and have looked better each week since returning from Allen, Texas. If that trend continues, a win against Huffman should be expected.
Vestavia Hills is next on the docket for Hoover on Oct. 14.