Courtesy of Kevin Brooks / Hoover City Schools
Hoover High 2013
Hoover Head Coach Josh Niblett told his players that they needed more scores and takeaways on defense and special teams.
It only took 15 seconds.
All-American Marlon Humphrey fielded the opening kickoff and galloped 87 yards for an opening touchdown. After that, the Bucs defense scored three pick-six interceptions on its way to a 48-7 win.
Bessemer City (5-1), was previously undefeated, as were most of Hoover’s opponents this year. For the up-and-coming-team, the loss does not end playoff dreams.
Scoring by the defense and special teams came at precisely the right time for Hoover, which often stopped itself on offense with 12 penalties for 100 yards.
For Hoover coach Niblett, the key to beating good teams is to concentrate on the things they learn each week.
“We have to play our game and do the things we do well. If we don’t play our game, it doesn’t matter who the opponent is," Niblett said.
Star tailback Bradrick Shaw rushed for two touchdowns and 123 yards on just 13 carries to lead the Hoover offense.
The Hoover pick-sixes were lethal for Bessemer City. P.J. Hall returned the first pass of the second quarter for a defensive touchdown. Tyren Spurling picked off a Purple Tigers pass and took it to the house in the fourth quarter.
Next week, the Hoover Bucs put their winning streak and No. 1 ranking on the line as they host Hillcrest of Tuscaloosa on Oct. 11.