Tagovailoa’s 5 TD night leads Warriors to rout, 8-0 record
FOR THE REPORTER | Eric Starling
ALABASTER – With all the talk around Alabaster being on the big clash coming up next week against Hoover, it would have been easy for the Warriors to get caught up in the hype and come out sluggish against the Huffman Vikings. That was not the case as the Warriors scored early and often to grab their eighth victory of the season with the 41-8 win.
“Our coaches did a great job of getting the team ready for this game,” stated Coach Mark Freeman. “I’m proud of the focus amid all of the possible distractions this week and how we just keep working to get better each game.”
Thompson’s defense had a big night and it started by forcing the Vikings to punt deep in their own end of the field allowing the Warriors to take over on offense on the Huffman 37-yard line. It took just two pass plays from Taulia Tagovailoa to Mo Edwards to put the Warriors on the board. A 30-yard pass and then a 7-yard touchdown strike, and Thompson was rolling.
On the next Huffman possession, the Warrior’s David Douglas intercepted the Vikings pass at the 35-yard line and returned it all the way to the 7-yard line setting the offense up with a first and goal. Tagovailoa connected with Ahmad Edwards for the 7-yard score and Shadrick Byrd punched in the 2-point conversion.
Huffman moved the ball into Warrior territory on their next drive thanks to a Thompson penalty, but again the defense proved too stout for the Vikings. This time, Mackie McNeal stepped in front of the receiver and haul in the Vikings pass for the Warriors second interception of the game.
The Warriors took eight plays to cover 72 yards and Tagovailoa again connected with Ahmad Edwards for the 10-yard touchdown pass. Samuel Serrato converted his second extra point of the evening giving the Warriors the 22-0 lead with just under two minutes left in the first quarter.
Tagovailoa finished the night 11-of-15 for 169 yards and five touchdowns. This was accomplished in just a quarter and a half. His fourth score came on a 21-yard pass across the middle to Kyle Smoak and his final touchdown pass was Mo Edwards second of the evening from 37-yards out. Smoak led all receivers with five catches for 83 yards. Mo Edwards finished with three catches for 74 yards.
With a 34-0 lead midway through the second quarter, the Warriors were able to take advantage of resting starters and getting the backups some valuable game experience against a quality opponent in preparation for the Hoover matchup next week.
After a successful on-side kick recovery, Sawyer Pate took over under center for the Warriors. A seven play drive was capped by a 1-yard run by Pate for the touchdown and a 41-0 lead.
The Vikings scored late in the fourth to make the final 41-8.
Thompson will travel to Hoover next week to face the Bucs with the 7A, Region 3 championship on the line.