Thompson defense bottles up Mountain Brook in battle of top teams

Published 10:51 pm Friday, September 25, 2020

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By GRAHAM BROOKS | Special to the Reporter

ALABASTER – In a battle between No. 1 teams, Thompson flexed its muscles and never trailed shutting out Mountain Brook 31-0 on Friday, Sept. 25.

Thompson wasn’t forced to punt until the second quarter and scored on its first three offensive possessions racing out to a 21-0 lead at the end of the opening quarter.

Thompson head coach Mark Freeman was leery of a possible letdown after the Warriors’ big win against Hewitt-Trussville last week but that was not the case.

“I’m proud of our kids,” he said. “They came out after a big win and you worry about a letdown, but I don’t think we had a letdown at all.”

Thompson starting quarterback Conner Harrell finished the game 17-of-21 for 217 yards and two touchdowns, seeing limited action in the second half to lead the offense.

The Warriors first two touchdowns came on a 27-yard run from Jarrett Crockett to go up 7-0, and then after the Thompson defense forced a Mountain Brook three-and-out, Harrell stepped up and threw a picture-perfect 45-yard touchdown to Ryan Peppins on the first play of the Warriors’ second offensive possession.

“I think we came out good and their defensive coordinator does a great job,” Freeman said. “He was at Hoover and since he’s got here, he’s done a great job. But you just have to go in the game and see what he’s going to do because those kids can do a lot of different things on defense. Our kids came out prepared and we hit a couple plays that we felt like we had a shot on during the week that we happen to hit.”

Thompson’s defense was a huge factor all night as Mountain Brook finished with just 31 yards of total offense, two turnovers and three first downs.

Up 14-0, Thompson’s final touchdown of the first quarter was set up after Jeremiah Alexander recovered a Mountain Brook fumble at the 7-yard line.

A few plays later, Harrell threw his second touchdown on a 7-yard pass to Zac Johnson to give the Warriors a 21-0 lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

“If you’ve shut out Mountain Brook, you’ve done a good job,” Freeman said. “We’ve got to get better every week on defense, and I think we got better tonight.”

Thompson’s final 10 points in the game came after a 53-yard drive was capped off by a 1-yard touchdown run from Sam Reynolds and a 40-yard field goal as time expired in the first half.

The Warriors finished with 375 yards of total offense and averaged 6.4 yards per play.

Thompson moved to 6-0 on the season and will take on Vestavia-Hills on Friday, Oct. 2.