hoover players with trophy
Members of the 2012 undefeated Hoover High Buccaneer football team pose with the AHSAA State Championship trophy at Beef O'Brady's on Dec. 8.
The smell of tailgating and carnival food along with cars decorated in window paint can only mean one thing; the Super 6 State Football Championships were back. And to no one’s surprise, undefeated Hoover High School was there.
It was old hat for Hoover at Jordan-Hare Stadium for the Super 6 on Friday night. The Buccaneers made its 12th appearance to the 6A state championship in the last 13 years and played like it.
Hoover (15-0) faced the Opelika High School Bulldogs (10-5) in a rematch from the last game of the regular season, which Hoover won 30-7. Both games went Hoover’s way as they defeated the Bulldogs 31-0 Friday night.
The seats were full of proud parents, football scouts and crazed, painted-up students showing support for their schools. Before kickoff, fans who arrived early saw Nova, one of Auburn University’s golden eagles, take flight around the stadium.
The Friday night lights were on, the crowd was amped and after the coin toss, Hoover never looked back.
The first quarter looked like Hoover would win in a blowout after the Buccaneers put up 14 points in 3 plays. Running back Calen Campbell took a routine handoff that went 60 yards for the first score of the night.
Campbell scored 32 seconds later on a 3-yard run after Hoover defensive back Marlon Humphrey intercepted a pass on Opelika’s first play of the drive.
Campbell finished his outstanding night with 191 yards rushing and three of the Buccaneer’s four touchdowns. The performance won him MVP honors for the game as well as a ring.
The second and third quarters shifted the game into a defensive struggle. Both the Buccaneers and the Bulldogs were putting together drives, but a field goal by Hoover in the third was the only scoring drive of the two quarters.
The closest Opelika came to scoring all game was a drive in the second quarter that led to a missed 23-yard field goal.
Hoover proved to be too much for the Bulldogs in the fourth quarter, when the Buccaneer added two more touchdowns to their 17-point lead.
After the players doused Head Coach Josh Niblett with Gatorade, the game was all but over for Hoover’s undefeated season. The Buccaneer crowd was chanting, singing and dancing along with Hoover’s players as the clock ran out.
The shutout was Hoover’s third of the season.
A soaked Niblett accepted the state championship trophy with his team after a convincing win and a seventh state championship for the school in 13 years.
The next day, Bucs players met their coaches and school officials at Beef O’Brady’s at The Grove for a Championship Party, where they swarmed the newest addition to the Hoover High School trophy case.