Alabaster, AL – The Thompson Warriors (13-0) cruised to their third consecutive trip to the AHSAA Super 7 State Championships with a 52-14 thumping of the second ranked Hoover Bucs Friday night at Warrior Stadium.
The win was Thompson’s forth in a row over the traditional powerhouse Bucs. Mark Freeman’s Warriors have scored six wins in the teams last seven meetings after dropping 21 consecutive matchups in the series that dates back to 1988.
This year’s semifinal matchup marks the fourth consecutive season that the 7A north powers have faced off – Thompson has come out on top in the last three.
Seconds into the second quarter the Warriors owned a 21-0 lead courtesy of three Jarrett Crockett rushing scores. The home team carried a commanding 31-7 advantage into the locker room at the half and didn’t look back after the break.
The visitors found the endzone on the opening drive of the second half as Josh Lundy connected with Brian Porter for a 43 yard score but the Warrior offense threw cold water on any hopes of a Hoover comeback, capping a methodical, four and a half minute drive with a Sam Reynolds touchdown run from inside the 10 on their next possession.
The Warriors found the endzone two more times on a Connor Harrell to Ryan Peppins 36 yard touchdown and a 25 yard Ahmari Bolden scoring sprint.
Thompson sophomore quarterback Connor Harrell completed 10-of-16 passes for 137 yards and a pair of touchdowns while running for 30 yards on eight carries. Crocket racked up 229 yards rushing on 29 carries and added three first half scores. Ryan Peppens was Harrell’s favorite target, hauling in six receptions for 104 yards and a score.
Hoover senior signal caller Josh Lundy finished the night with 95 yards, connecting on 8-of-21 throws while tossing a touchdown pass and two interceptions. Jaylen Taylor lead the Bucs on the ground with 91 yards on 11 attempts and a score. Brian Porter was Hoover’s most productive receiver snagging one reception for a 43 yard score.
Hoover’s season comes to an end at 11-2 with both of their loses coming on the road at Thompson.
The Warriors will attempt to retain their 7A state crown, taking on the Auburn Tigers Wednesday, December 2nd at Tuscaloosa’s Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Championship matchup will be the first meeting between the Tigers and Warriors on the gridiron.