Jeremiah Alexander could feel it. Thompson’s senior assists put his hands on his hips and scanned the stands, with his night’s job mostly done.
It was technically a road game, but the sea of ââwhite shirts and visiting pom poms filled the Hoover Met with cheers. Alexander had just returned a ball over 50 yards for a touchdown, the interception literally falling into the hands of the Alabama commit.
“We can’t hear you,” shouted Thompson fans.
They were aimed at Hoover fans, but also potentially anyone who questioned the Thompson dynasty when its 27-game winning streak ended on October 11. That night, in that same venue, Hoover claimed the final rivalry victory. Friday’s script was almost the complete opposite. Alexander and Thompson drowned Hoover’s offense in the 35-10 victory.
With the victory, Thompson (12-1) qualified for the Super 7 for a fourth consecutive season and had the chance to complete his triple class 7A round.
Thompson quarterback Conner Harrell was exceptional on his first start in over a month. The North Carolina engagement delivered three touchdowns in the first half and another in the second. Meanwhile, Northwestern’s Bennett Meredith from Hoover came out in the first half and never returned.
At first, Harrell – who missed part of the initial meeting between these teams with an injury – cut out the Hoover defense with the read option. He always found space in the middle before hitting Justin Pegues for the opening score of the game. Harrell then added 29 and 42 yard touchdown passes.
Thompson’s busy passers energized the defense. Alexander and 5-star junior Peter Woods, who caused the defensive score earlier, collapsed the pocket and Meredith spent much of her time backing up and looking for space.
As the score was close, Hoover passed two discs into the red zone. Both resulted in placement attempts, one of which was blocked. Senior quarterback Evan Reeder came in for Meredith and completed a few more crosses in the middle, but it was too late.
Game Star: This can be shared between Harrell and Ryan Peppins. Everyone did their part on a trio of touchdown highlights. Harrell completed 11 of 12 passes for 142 yards and four touchdowns for Thompson, who also ran for 39 yards. Peppins, a 5-foot-8-hired senior from western Kentucky, was the game’s top catcher with six catches for 121 yards and three scores.
Key moment : In the second quarter, Harrell ran to his right on a designed deployment. As a pair of receivers flooded the wide end of the field, Peppins fled behind the secondary for a 42-yard dart. A few Hoover players looked at each other and pointed to each other as Peppins crossed the goal line. If Thompson didn’t already have full control of the game, the Warriors did after Peppins’ longest touchdown.
Statistics sheet: Thompson’s Woods and Alexander combined three sacks, an interception and a touchdown. … Reeder had 232 yards and a touchdown for Hoover. â¦ Meredith completed three passes for 20 yards. Hoover edged Thompson 358 yards to 261.
Coachspeak: âThere were some shots that (Harrell) couldn’t make tonight so we took them out. … He did a great job with what he had to work with. I’m glad he came back. – Thompson’s coach, Mark Freeman
They said it: âI always have something to prove. That’s what I tell myself every time I go out here. – Harrell
âThe tackle had leaned on me the whole game. I was setting it upâ¦ I kind of faked it and re-enabled it with a double swipe. The quarterback’s back was away from me. It was perfect. “- The woods
And after?: Thompson will travel to Protective Stadium in Birmingham on December 1 for the Super 7 opening night main event at 7 p.m. ET. The Warriors will face Central-Phenix City. The season is over for Hoover (12-1).