HOOVER, Alabama – Miami Central’s Beymar Piraquive kicked a 32-yard field goal with 45 seconds remaining to edge Hoover Saturday afternoon in a nationally-televised ESPN clash of two teams that were in the national title race this fall.
The Rockets scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to build a 21-7 lead, but Hoover rallied to tie the game with two quick touchdowns. Jack Hutcheson hit Trey Brackett for a 46-yard strike with 8:46 to go.
RELATED: Look back at Hoover's 30-game win streak
Senior A-List running back Bradrick Shaw tied the score when he burst through the Rocket line for a 19-yard score with 3:15 to go. Miami Central then went 80 yards in eight plays to set up PIrquive from the Hoover 15.
The Bucs could not rally in the final minute, and Hutcheson and Shaw headed to treatment immediately after the contest that was played in temperatures soaring near 100 degrees. The loss snapped Hoover’s 30-game win streak, which is a program record.
-- Play of the Game: Miami Central senior Anthony Jones broke loose for a 46-yard gain on the second play of the game-winning drive, moving the ball to the Hoover 27. His next carry took the Rockets to the Hoover 18.
-- By The Numbers: Miami Central got 127 rushing yards on 18 carries from starter Cedric Miller until he left the game with cramps. … The Rockets then inserted senior wide receiver Anthony Jones as a “Wildcat” quarterback, and he ran the ball 19 times for another 145 yards. … Hutcheson’s arm provided most of the Hoover offense against a stout Miami Central defensive front. He threw for 147 yards and two touchdowns, but also three interceptions.
-- Game ball: Jones was the X-factor that Hoover couldn’t contain off direct snaps behind a beefy offensive line. He didn’t enter the game at quarterback until about four minutes remained in the third quarter. Central only managed 28 yards in the second half outside of his production. -
- Coachspeak: “My quarterback didn’t go down," Miami Central coach Roland Smith said, "but we wanted to bring in a change-up to try to spark our offense a little bit to bring in a more athletic quarterback and give us a run-pass option. My offensive coordinator did a good job of mixing it up. We did it late in the game and that didn’t give Hoover a chance to make an adjustment after halftime to that set.”
-- They Said It …”At the end of the daywe all stick together,” Hoover senior linebacker Darrell Williams said. “We’re a team. We are not down. We still got places we are trying to reach. We are not worried about a streak or anything like that. We are going to come in Sunday at 2 o’clock and grind.
“We have got to handle adversity,” Hoover senior defensive end Christian Bell said. “I promise you I am not going to let my team not go hard on the field every single play from now on. I can promise you every single time we are going to step on that field we will go hard.”
“(Piraquive) does it all the time in practice,” Smith said. “He’s a two-year starter so that’s what he does. He does a tremendous job so any time we are within 40 yards we feel confident in him hitting that field goal.”
-- Next week: Hoover goes on the road to face former coach Rush Propst’s team at Colquitt County. Miami Central had another huge out-of-state contest in metro Atlanta with Stephenson.