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Clutch drive lifts No. 2 Hoover over top ranked Thompson

Brant Berry | PrepsNet

Hoover, AL – The second ranked Hoover Bucs snapped No. 1 Thompson‘s 27 game winning streak, knocking off the two-time defending state champions 24-21, in dramatic fashion, Friday night at the Hoover Met. 

With the victory, the Bucs claimed their 21st region title, their first since 2018.  

The come-from-behind win also put the breaks on the Warriors four game winning streak over the Bucs.  Hoover now owns a 23-6 advantage, all-time, over their rivals from Alabaster in a series that dates back to 1988. 

Trailing 21-10 at the half, Hoover rattled off a pair of second half scores, including the game winner, with 0:14 seconds remaining in the contest.  Senior quarterback Bennett Meredith lead the Bucs on a 82 yard drive culminating in an eight yard scoring strike to Jabari Gaines with 14 ticks left in the clock to hand the powerhouse Warriors their first loss since October 25th, 2019.  

Click here to check out the full Alabama high school football scoreboard.  

Hoover senior quarterback Bennett Meredith shined, completing 22-of-37 passes for 279 yards and three touchdowns.  R.J. Hamilton was Meredith’s favorite target, hauling in nine catches for 151 yards and a score.  Running back Ahamari Williams ran for 57 yards while Gains snagged a pair of touchdown passes, including the game winner.  Bucs place kicker Payton Argent put the home team up early, splitting the uprights from 29 yards out and was a perfect three-of-three in extra point attempts.  

Thompson quarterback and North Carolina commit Connor Harrell completed 8-of-9 throws for 180 yards and touchdown passes to Jaylen Ward (71 yards) and Ahmari Bolden (32 yards) before being sidelined after two quarters.  Backup signal caller Zach Sims finished the night with 46 yards through the air, completing 3-of-6 throws with an interception and a fumble.  Running back Justin Pegues added a 25 yard rushing score for the Warriors. 

Both teams take the week off before stepping into the postseason November 5th.  Hoover will welcome the Sparkman Senators (4-5, 4-3) to the Met in round one.  Thompson hosts the 5-4 Florence Falcons at Warrior Stadium.  

If both teams win their first two playoff games they will face-off again in four weeks for the chance to advance to AHSAA 7A title game at Birmingham’s Protective Stadium.