The top-ranked Hoover Buccaneers will get another region test Friday night.
This time, it comes from one of the surprise teams of Class 7A, Region 3 – Thompson.
After a winless 2014, new coach Mark Freeman has the Warriors on the rise. Thompson is 3-1, 1-1 in the region after beating Mountain Brook last week. The Warriors even picked up a little voting support in the ASWA poll, though far from enough to crack the top 10.
The Bucs (4-0, 2-0) stayed atop the poll, although the past two close calls against Mountain Brook (21-14) and Oak Mountain (17-14) might have some wondering just how good these Bucs are. Hoover quarterback Christopher Vacarella rushed for scores of 65 and 5 yards and Barret Pickering kicked a field goal. Jeremiah Moon thwarted the Eagles’ last-second Hail Mary by picking the pass off deep in Buc territory.
But a win is a win, and this win was coach Josh Niblett’s 100th at Hoover.
This week is Homecoming 2015 at Hoover.
But Thompson, this season, doesn’t look like a homecoming cupcake. Freeman led Bessemer Academy to four AISA championships and then won two more at Spanish Fort in Class 5A. His career record is 167-38.
The Warriors are led by quarterback Walker Lott, a transfer from Briarwood Christian where he was a two-year starter, and running back Carlos Stephens. Lott ran for the game-winning score against Mountain Brook with just over a minute left in the game.
The Warriors’ only loss was a 15-14 decision to Spain Park, losing on five field goals.
Last year, Hoover rolled over Thompson 56-6. It’s unlikely to be that lopsided this time around. But history is on the Bucs’ side – they’re 18-0 all-time against Thompson.
After celebrating Homecoming this weekend, the Bucs have next Friday off. They’ll host crosstown rival Spain Park the following Thursday, Oct. 1.
Game time is 7 p.m. at the Hoover Met. Tickets are on sale in the HHS Athletic Office for $7 Tuesday through Friday 7 a.m. – 3:45 p.m. Cash only. They are also available at Bryant Bank on Highway 150 Tuesday through Friday 9 a.m. -- 5 p.m. Cash or checks only -- no debit cards accepted. Tickets are now available online at Preptix -- http://www.preptix.com/hoover
Friday’s schedule includes the pep rally at 2:30 p.m. at the school, the Buc Walk at 5:20 p.m. at The Met, the Patio Party catered by Moe’s BBQ with dessert provided by Wal-Mart and drinks provided by Coca-Cola from 5:30-6:30.