Hoover left no doubt that its not how you start a season, but how you end a season Wednesday night in Alabama’s first-ever 7A state championship high school football game. The Bucs won their 11th state title with a 35-21 win over Prattville, in a game that marked the sixth time that the two schools have played for a state championship. That series is now tied at three wins apiece.
The victory, which gave the Bucs their third straight state title, avenged a slow start to the season that saw Hoover, ranked #2 in the High School Football America Preseason Top 25, lose its first two games against Miami Central (Florida) and Colquitt County (Georgia). Both of those teams are currently ranked in the HSFA Top 10.
Hoover was led by a powerful ground attack led by Bradrick Shaw and Marcus Webb. Webb led the way with 153 yards and a touchdown, while Shaw, who won the 2013 Class 6A Super 6 MVP added 101 yards and two scores. Quarterback John Hutcheson also threw two first half TD passes in the win that ties Hoover with Hazlewood for the most all-time state titles.
Hoover has now played in seven straight state championship games.
The win also improves Hoover head coach Josh Niblett‘s Buccaneer resume to 96-8 in seven seasons as the head coach at the suburban Birmingham school. Niblett has won five state titles as a head coach – four with Hoover and one with Oneonta in 2004.