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Hoover's Christopher Vacarella throws a pass against Spain Park.
The Hoover Buccaneers, coming off a rare loss to an in-state opponent, much less a region foe (in city rival Spain Park), have regrouped and are ready as Class 7A, Region 3 opponent Tuscaloosa County visits the Hoover Met on Friday. Kickoff is 7 p.m.
“All our goals are still in front of us,” Bucs coach Josh Niblett said.
Those goals, of course, are a region championship, a playoff berth, and a state title. The Bucs (5-1, 3-1 in region play) are tied for second place in the region with Vestavia Hills and Hewitt-Trussville and behind Spain Park (5-1, 4-0 in the region).
Niblett felt his team got whipped up front by the Jags, and this week has been spent rectifying that. As far as the penalties go, he’s not so concerned with the penalties during the play, errors made due to effort, but the pre-snap and post-play penalties.
Re-establishing a running game and being physical will be a part of what you can expect from the Bucs.
“I don’t care who you are, you’re not going to have an opportunity to be very successful if you don’t win the battle up front,” Niblett said. “We’ve got to do a better job of winning the battle up front.”
The Bucs dropped from No. 1 in the Alabama Sports Writers Association Class 7A poll to No. 5. Bob Jones replaced Hoover in the top spot and Spain Park moved up to second.
The Bucs are 11-3 all-time against the Wildcats, defeating them twice last season – 66-27 at Northport in the regular season and 42-7 in the second round of the Class 7A playoffs at The Met.
A week from Friday, the Bucs and the Vestavia Hills Rebels renew their heated rivalry at Thompson Reynolds Stadium on Buddy Anderson Field.