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Thompson downs Hoover 35-10 to advance to Super 7

Brant Berry | PrepsNet

Hoover, AL – The two-time defending 7A state champion Thompson Warriors punched their ticket to the Super 7 with a dominating 35-10 victory over the undefeated Hoover Bucs (12-1) Friday night in the AHSAA Class 7A semifinals. 

The Warriors, who will be making their fourth consecutive trip to the state title game, will face the unbeaten Central-Phenix City Red Devils (13-0) December 1st at Birmingham’s Protective Stadium. 

The Thompson victory avenged their 24-21, last second, regular season loss to the Bucs.  The Warriors have now knocked off Hoover in five consecutive semifinal matchups. 

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

Following a missed Bucs field goal, Thompson lit up the Hoover Met scoreboard on a Connor Harrell to Justin Pegues 14 yard pitch and catch.  The Warriors extended their lead in the second quarter as Harrell hooked-up with standout receiver Ryan Peppins for scoring strikes of 20 and 42 yards.  Hoover snapped the first half shutout with a 25 yard Payton Argent field goal to cut the lead to 21-3 after two quarters.  

The Thompson offense picked up where they left off after the break, as Harrell connected with Peppins from 29 yards out seconds into the third quarter.  On the next Hoover possession, Thompson defender Jeremiah Alexander picked off an Evan Reeder pass and strolled 60 yards for a score.  

The defending champs lead 35-3 with 7:33 remaining in the third period. 

The 7A powers’ defenses took control through the remainder of the third and fourth quarters until Cotton Peters hauled in a 30 pass from Reeder with 0:35 remaining in the contest to cap the semifinal showdown at 35-10.  

Click here to take a look at pairings for the next round of the AHSAA postseason.

Harrell, who was making his return to the gridiron after being sidelined with an injury during the Warriors’ regular season meeting with the Bucs, completed 11-of-12 passes for 143 yard and four scores. Peppins snagged six receptions for 121 yards and three scores.  Justin Pegues finished the night with 55 yards rushing and a 13 yard touchdown catch. 

Hoover starting quarterback and Northwestern University commit Bennett Meredith completed 3 passes for 20 yards before being sidelined late in the second quarter.  Senior signal caller Evan Reeder finished the night under center for the Bucs completing 17-of-30 passes for 235 yards with an interception and a score.  Peters lead the Hoover receiving corps with five grabs for 29 yards.  Ahamari Williams rushed for 53 yards on nine attempts.