HOOVER, AL – The Hoover Bucs have slipped to 0-2 for the first time since 2014. The 7A Bucs were looking to bounce back from a season loss to 2nd ranked Auburn. However, the Bucs faced another setback with a 28-21 overtime defeat against Oak Grove, recognized as one of Mississippi’s premier high school football programs.
The pivotal moment arrived in overtime when Oak Grove quarterback Anthony Maddox and receiver Damari Jefferson connected for a 10-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the overtime period. Hoover’s chances took a hit when Oak Grove linebacker Malachi Henderson, who had an outstanding performance throughout the game, tackled Fred Dunson for a 4-yard loss. The game concluded with three Buccaneer passes falling incomplete.
Just prior to that, Hoover seemed poised to take the win in regulation. The Bucs orchestrated a 16-play drive, positioning themselves for a potential game-winning field goal. Running back Kamal Amerson, who finished the night with 141 yards on 28 carries, contributed crucial yardage during a 65-yard fourth quarter drive, which ultimately stalled at the Oak Grove 16-yard line. Unfortunately, Hoover kicker Matthew Daibes’ potentially game sealing field goal sailed wide left from 33 yards out with 1:40 remaining.
Quarterback Noah Schuback managed only three completions in the first half, but two of them resulted in long touchdown passes. Schuback connected with Jordan Woolen on a slant pass, which Woolen turned into a 48-yard touchdown early in the second quarter. The Bucs closed out the first half with a 34-yard pass from Schuback to Chris Warren, scoring with just 21 seconds remaining before the break.
While Hoover held a statistical advantage in the first half, they turned the ball over twice. Amerson contributed 80 yards rushing on 15 carries. Oak Grove, despite having 127 yards on only 19 first-half snaps, made a significant impact on special teams with an 85-yard punt return for a touchdown by Nehemiah Taylor. The Warriors added another score as Maddox connected with Tajii Burkett for a 47 yard scoring strike.
Hoover managed to break the tie early in the third quarter when Jordan Moultrie’s blocked punt set them up at the Oak Grove 6-yard line. Two 3-yard runs by Jonah Winston gave Hoover a 21-14 lead, but Oak Grove swiftly mounted a comeback, equalizing with a 40-yard pass from Maddox to Prentiss Woodland.
The defeat marks the first time the Bucs have started the season 0-2 since falling to Miami Central (FL) and Colquitt County (GA) to begin the 2014 season.
The Bucs return to action next Friday night in a cross-town showdown with the 2-0 Spain Park Jaguars at Bob Filey Field.