Hoover advances to 7A semifinals with win over Mtn. Brook

Hoover, AL – The Hoover Bucs advanced to the 7A semifinals for the 10th time in the last 11 seasons with a 42-17 win over the Mountain Brook Spartans Friday night at the Hoover Met.  

The Bucs started off slow as Mountain Brook linebacker Collin Bussman scooped a Robby Ashford lateral pass and scored from the just inside the 10 seconds into the contest.  The Spartans held at 7-0 lead for the majority of the first period until Ashford connected with Auburn commit George Pickens for a 39 yard score late in the opening quarter.  

The Spartans reclaimed the lead midway thought the second quarter on the leg of Atkins Roberts who spit the uprights from 37 yards out.  Pickens snagged his second Ashford touchdown grab on the Bucs next possession giving the Bucs a lead that they would not relinquish.  Ashford capped the first half with a rushing score from inside the Spartan 10 to put the defending state champs up 21-10 going into the locker room.  

Chris Yeager’s Spartans clawed back within a score early in the third as quarterback Strother Gibbs scampered into the endzone from six yards out.  Gibbs score with just over eight minutes to play in the third would be as close as Mountain Brook would come to pulling off the upset.  The Bucs flexed their muscle in the game’s last 16 minutes with Pickens scoring from 89 yards out to in the 3rd and Ashford and Myles Spurling adding scores early in the fourth.  

Hoover signal caller Robby Ashford closed out the night with five total touchdowns, three through the air, completing 7 of 10 passes for 290 yards while rushing for a pair of scores.  Pickens hauled in five catches for 205 yards three of which went for touchdowns.  Senior running back Larry McCammon lead the Bucs on the ground with 87 yards on 17 carries.  

Mountain Brook quarterback Strother Gibbs completed 7 of 14 passes for 125 while scoring a rushing touchdown and tossing a pair of interceptions.  A.J. Gates paced the Spartans on the ground with 18 runs for 26 yards and hauled in two Gibbs passes for 57 yards.  

The Spartans closed out 2018 with their best finish since 2013 chalking up wins over rivals Spain Park, Vestavia Hills and perennial power Hewitt-Trussville.  

Hoover will host the Thompson Warriors next Friday night at the Hoover Met for the right to represent the 7A north at Jordan-Hare Stadium.  The Bucs defeated the Warriors 45-26 in week two.  Hoover holds a 22-1 all-time advantage over Thompson in a series that dates back to 1988.