HOOVER, Ala. (WBRC) - This is the fourth straight season Hoover will face Thompson in the 7A semifinals. It’ll be another chance for the Bucs to beat the team that’s denied them a chance to play for a blue map the past two years.
“We know if we lose that’s it for us. We know that we have to make it happen this game,” said Hoover quarterback Josh Lundy.
Hoover leads the series 16-5, but Thompson has won four straight, including this year’s regular-season matchup in October. The Bucs lost by 16 points, but say they didn’t have the right mindset heading into that game.
“I feel like we just weren’t ready for the moment for some reason, we just kind of sat back. I feel like we just need to go on the attack instead of sitting back,” Lundy said.
“The last three times we’ve played them, we haven’t finished so we have to finish. We had some opportunities last time, but we had a couple of turnovers. When we have opportunities to make plays, we have to make them,” said Hoover head coach Josh Niblett.
Through 12 games, Thompson has outscored its opponents by an average of 28.5 points. Although the Warriors are undefeated, Hoover isn’t intimidated.
“It’s going to take me being a leader,” Lundy said. “We’ve had some people go down, but that’s playoff football, and we need leaders like me to step up and make plays.”
“Anyone is beatable, but we don’t look at them that way. We look at them like they’re someone that we know year in and year out and we’re going to have to beat each other to get to the playoffs, a region championship, and a state championship. If you want to win a state title, you have to beat them and they have to beat us,” added Niblett.
Hoover is looking to get back to the state title game for the first time since 2017.