Calen Campbell imagines a madhouse, complete with deafening cheers, hearty hugs and a few tears, too.
When the Hoover Bucs show up for school Monday, they’ll carry significant hardware that eluded them the last two years and significant emotion will accompany it.
Hoover, after losing in the Class 6A finals each of the last two seasons, finally added another championship trophy with Friday’s 31-0 win over Opelika at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
“Starting in January, we committed ourselves to greatness,” Campbell said. “After those last two state championship games, it feels great to finally finish the deal. It’s absolutely wonderful.”
Campbell, a senior running back, ran for 191 yards and three touchdowns to help the Buccaneers (15-0) end the pain of the last two years.
Hoover’s losses the last two years were by a combined two points.
“I can’t even describe how I feel,” senior quarterback Connor Short said. “To finally win one feels real good.”
Campbell scored on runs of 64 and 3 yards in the first quarter and 45 yards in the fourth, while Hoover’s defense muzzled the Bulldogs (10-5).
Opelika had just 181 yards total offense.
“Those guys are where they’re supposed to be when they’re supposed to be there — always,” Opelika coach Brian Blackmon said. “To move the ball against those guys, somebody has to whip somebody.”
Opelika twice reached the Hoover 20-yard line. In the second quarter, the Bulldogs missed a 23-yard field goal. In the fourth, they turned it over on downs.
“These guys made no bones about it starting in January,” Hoover coach Josh Niblett said. “They wanted to win a state championship.
“Then, they started talking about greatness and doing things better than they’ve been done before.”