Braxton Urquhart had two interceptions and freshman quarterback Noah Schuback topped 200 passing yards as Hoover defeated Bob Jones 45-19 in the first round of the Class 7A playoffs at the Hoover Met.
The Bucs (10-1) led 14-7 at half and were nearly flawless in the second half, scoring on all five possessions and forcing two turnovers. Keith Christein also blocked a punt to set up a short field.
“I felt like our defense got to a slow start, but we picked it up towards the end,” Urquhart said. “We kind of let down in the run game, but we’ll get back Sunday and get back to work.”
Schuback completed 16-of-21 passes for 221 yards, and threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to KJ Law on the first drive. The Bucs got two rushing touchdowns each from LaMarion McCammon (8, 1 yards) and Kamal Amerson (9 and 1 yards), a 3-yard touchdown run by Jonah Williams and a 33-yard field goal from Peyton Argent.
Hoover, winners of 10 straight, will host region rival Hewitt-Trussville next week. The Bucs beat the Huskies 17-7 on Sept. 16. Bob Jones’ season ended at 5-6.
“In the end, Hoover just made the plays they had to make in the second half and took control of the game,” Bob Jones coach Kelvis White said. “Just hats off to those guys.”
Play of the Game: It came in a losing effort, but backup quarterback Dylan Willingham was forced into action when starting quarterback Rayshawn Hardy’s helmet came off. It was third and 30 from his own 6, but Willingham found KJ Fields for a gain of 36 on a drive that was capped off with a 2-yard touchdown run from Tyren Washington.
Key Moment: Hoover took a 21-7 lead on its first drive of the second half, then forced a three-and-out. Christein blocked a punt that Kaleb Jackson recovered at the 8, and it set up a 9-yard touchdown run by Amerson to give Hoover a 28-7 lead.
Stat sheet: McCammon led the Hoover ground game with 75 yards on 14 carries. Washington led Bob Jones with 57 yards and two rushing touchdowns. Hardy completed 10 of 13 passes for 97 yards, but Hoover’s vaunted defense held him to minus-4 yards on 13 carries. Willingham completed 10 of 12 passes for 109 yards, including a 5-yard touchdown pass to Brody Cooper on the last play of the game.
By the Numbers: 8 – Consecutive passes completed by Hoover quarterback Noah Schuback to start the game, for 101 yards. 10 – Consecutive completions for Bob Jones’ Rayshawn Hardy between a first-quarter incompletion and a fourth-quarter interception. 8 – Consecutive wins for Hoover in the series with Bob Jones. 2013 – Last time Bob Jones won a playoff game. 3 – Offensive touchdowns for Bob Jones, the first offensive touchdowns against Hoover since Sept. 23 by Mountain Brook in the Bucs’ 26-14 win.
They said it: “We were a little lackadaisical in protection. Against a good team like that, we’ve got to be on top of our game in every aspect.” – Bob Jones coach Kelvis White on the blocked punt.
“He played really well. He’s gotten better since the first night he took the field against Tuscaloosa County. He’s come a long way. He spread the ball around to the receivers a little bit tonight.” – Hoover coach Wade Waldrop on quarterback Noah Schuback
“I thought he was the MVP for us tonight on defense.” Waldrop on punter Peyton Argent, who dropped one punt downed at the 2, hit all eight kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks, made all seven extra points and made his only field goal attempt.
“I felt like we underestimated our opponent. (The final score) shows that we know how to finish. We’ve just got to keep working on our weakness, starting out faster and stronger.” – Hoover defensive back Jay Avery.