Hoover and Opelika traded early blows defensively in the class 6A final, but the Bucs eventually broke-through. Once a senior tailback got loose in the open field to put points on the board, it was all the national power needed to claim another Super 6 crown, en route to a 31-0 rout.
Here are the players that impressed with their play.
2013 RB Caleb Campbell (5-foot-9, 164 lbs) – The gritty back does it all for Hoover despite not getting the recruiting attention some of his teammates do. The workhorse capped his career with a phenomenal display of power, speed and durability. Campbell broke the ice with a 64-yard sprint up the middle the get the scoring going, and Hoover never looked back. He went on to capture MVP honors with a 30-carry, 191-yard, three-touchdown performance.
2013 WR Michael Powers (5-foot-8, 170 lbs) – The numbers weren’t gaudy, but every time the Bucs needed a big conversion, the senior was there. Powers has sure hands and runs great routes, even taking it further with the ability to make defenders miss after he hauls passes in. He was important for the Hoover offense early on, helping to steady the ship and build the lead that wasn’t challenged. Powers completed his career with 79 yards on six catches, and he added one carry for 23 yards.
2014 DB Marlon Humphrey (6-foot, 180 lbs) – The special prospect showed it on several plays, but only a few pass attempts headed his way. On the first, he broke off his zone coverage for an easy interception, though he could not come up with the grab. Minutes later, he more than atoned for it with a top-notch break on the ball that resulted in an interception return for 42 yards, nearly for six points. Humphrey’s will to get the ball out of the receiver’s hands coupled with his ability to separate exemplify why he’s so sought after.
2014 LB Chandler Coskery (6-foot, 200 lbs) – The junior was simply all over the field for the state champs. He not only made the routine tackles that his responsibility suggests, but he tracked players on the edge all night. When his job was to fill the hole, he did it with the will and force that would make old-school football fans smile. Coskery ended up with six tackles, including one for a loss, and a pass break-up.
2013 QB Connor Short (6-foot, 175 lbs) – Though he doesn’t have the strongest arm in the history of football, Short gets the job done by not making mistakes while running the spread offense. He gets the ball out quickly on short and intermediate throws, often allowing the ball to take the receiver where he needs to be instead of where he is. Short can run a little as well, but made his mark in his final high school game with 146 yards passing and a score.
2013 RB Calvin Bryant (5-foot-11, 220 lbs) – The bulldozing Bryant looks like he can do some damage in between the tackles, and he doesn’t disappoint when he lowers his shoulder. Perhaps even more impressively, however, is how he makes move in space despite his big frame. Bryant displays a good jump-cut and has a counter cut off of his favorite move that really makes it difficult for defenders in space. He finished the night with 85 hard-fought yards on 19 carries.
2014 TE Jakell Mitchell (6-foot-2, 214 lbs) – Any success the Bulldogs had in the passing game was reliant on Mitchell’s ability to track the ball. Without a big-time talent throwing him the ball, he finds ways to adjust to the ball to make a play for his team given the chance. Mitchell ended up with two grabs for 46 yards while also contributing as a running back on occasion.
2013 DB Brandon Taylor (6-foot-1, 186 lbs) – In a game where the Bulldogs defense played much better than the sore indicated, Taylor was the tone setter. No matter if the D needed a big hit, routine stop or big play in coverage – Taylor was the guy for the gig. He single-handedly ended multiple Hoover drives, once with a pass break-up and once more with a touchdown-saving big-hit. Taylor officially tallied four tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss and a pass break-up.