Hoover (Alabama) High School may very well be the muse for the cliché coach-speak line “delay is not denial” in week one.
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First, the Bucs were hit with an actual delay to the start of their game against No. 13 Central (Phenix City, Alabama) due to weather. Then Hoover delayed scoring until the second half when they reeled off two scores and clamped the Red Devils defensively before putting together a 98-yard scoring drive in the final 4:22 of regulation, which was capped off by Constantine Hontzas’ 30-yard field goal to pull off the 17-14 upset Friday night.
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Tied at 14 with less than five minutes left in regulation and the ball on the Hoover 5-yard line, Central handed off to Joseph McKay who got hit and fumbled on the 2-yard line, which Hoover recovered. That set up the spirited 90-yard drive and Hontzas’ clutch kick.
Hoover quarterback Robby Ashford, an Ole Miss commit, turned the Bucs’ offense around in the second half, coming up with two clutch plays down the stretch.
First, he caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from E.J. Williams on a trick play midway through the third quarter then Ashford threw a 13-yard pass to Cooper Tullo to tie the game at 14 headed in to the fourth quarter.
After pulling off the upset at Central, expect the Bucs to make a steep climb in the Southeast Regional rankings next week.
The Bucs will play Cocoa (Florida) High School on Aug. 30.
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY