Vestavia Hills, AL – In a highly anticipated Over the Mountain matchup, the 6th ranked Vestavia Hills Rebels emerged victorious against arch rival Hoover, marking their first victory over the Bucs since 2015. The Rebels put on an impressive performance in their 2023 season home opener, knocking off the No. 9 Buccaneers 26-7.
The Rebels, who improved to 3-1 overall and 1-1 in Class 7A, Region 3 play, dominated the game with a powerful ground attack that amassed an impressive 354 yards rushing on 52 carries. Quarterback John Paul Head led the charge, racking up a staggering 219 rushing yards and three touchdowns, captivating the Thompson Reynolds Stadium crowd.
Head coach Robert Evans’ Rebels established their dominance early, building a 20-0 lead by halftime. Head, the star of the evening, contributed significantly to this lead with three impressive touchdown runs of 9, 2, and 2 yards, showcasing his versatility as both a passer and a rusher. He also added 65 passing yards to his impressive stat line.
Kicker Owen Simpson played a crucial role as well, putting points on the board with field goals of 27 and 35 yards. Vestavia running back William Tonsmeire, who carried the ball 16 times for 125 yards, was another key contributor to the Rebels’ dominant ground game.
On the opposing side, Hoover struggled to match the Rebels’ intensity. Their lone touchdown, a late-game eight-yard run by Freddy Dunson, came with just 46 seconds remaining on the clock. The Bucs, with a record of 1-3 overall (1-1 in region play) have been facing challenges on both sides of the ball this season, having allowed 113 points while only putting up 70 on offense.
Hoover quarterback, Noah Schubach, finished the night completing 14-of-24 passes for 154 yards but threw one costly interception. Jonah Winston led Hoover’s receiving corps with five catches for 61 yards.
In terms of total offense, the Rebels outshined the Bucs, rolling to 419 yards of total offense, with 354 of those coming on the ground. In contrast, Hoover managed 223 total yards on the night.
Looking ahead, The Bucs will look to bounce back next Friday night, welcoming the 5th ranked Hewitt-Trussville Huskies (3-1) to the Hoover Met. Meanwhile, Vestavia Hills will continue to enjoy the comforts of home as they prepare for a region clash with the Spain Park Jaguars (2-2).