Mountain Brook, AL – The Clay-Chalkville Cougars (14-0) punched their ticket to the 2021 AHSAA 6A state title game with a 24-18, come from behind, victory over the Mountain Brook Spartans (12-2) Friday night.
The victory avenges the Cougars 27-10 quarterfinal loss to the Spartans in 2020.
The Cougars lit up the Spartan Stadium scoreboard first as Ed Osley dove into across the goal line from one yard out midway through the opening quarter but failed to find points on their two-point conversion attempt. Mountain Brook answered back five minutes later, as Jake Thompson tossed a 20 yard touchdown pass to George Cain on a fake field goal. Cole Gamble converted the Spartan two-point attempt to put the home team up 8-6 with three minutes to play in the first quarter.
After a back-and-forth second period, the Spartans found the endzone with 0:22 seconds to play in the half as John Colvin conned with Sims Brown from just inside the Cougar 20 yard line to put Mountain Brook up 15-6 at the break.
The Cougar offense came to life in the third as Louisville commit Khalib Johnson found Jaylen Mbakwe for a score on the opening possession of the second half to cut the lead to 15-12. Clay took a three point lead with a tick over 9:00 to play as Osley capped a 75 yard, 10 play drive with a 45 yard scamper into the endzone. Aided by a pair of costly Cougar penalties, Reed Harradine tied the contest at 18 apiece, splitting the uprights from 28 yards out with 1:48 remaining in the fourth.
The Cougars put the game away as Osley found paydirt, for the third time, capping a two-play 80 yard drive with a 16 yard scamper into the endzone.
Osley lead the Cougars with 135 yards rushing and three scores. Johnson finished the night with 165 yards through the air completing 12-of-14 passes with a touchdown toss and an interception. Craver snagged four catches for 92 yards
Spartans signal caller John Colvin completed 11-of-18 passes for 104 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Gamble paced Mountain Brook on the ground with 76 yards on 19 attempts. Standout running back Will Waldrop carried the ball 19 times for 67 yards. Cain hauled in four receptions for 47 yards and a score.
Clay-Chalkville will face the Hueytown Golden Gophers (13-1) next Friday night at Birmingham’s Protective Stadium for the Class 6A state championship. The Cougars handed the Gophers their only loss of the season, 57-40 in week two of the regular season.