The Hoover Bucs entered their out of state contest with North Marion (FL) with plenty on the line. The Bucs picked up eight points towards the tiebreaker and will finish as the Region 3 runner-up after a 38-14 victory over the visiting Colts.
North Marion got it started early on a 66 -yard touchdown pass from Caleb Seiler to Freddie Swain for a quick 7-0 lead in the first quarter. From there Hoover used short fields, a strong running game with timely passing and third down conversions to to rip off 31 unanswered points to close the first half with a 31-7 halftime lead. Quarterback Chris Vacarella rushed for two touchdowns, CJ Sturdivant and Vonte Brackett scored on rushing touchdowns and Barret Pickering added a 27-yard field goal during Hoover’s explosion.
After a stagnant first half after the opening touchdown, the Colts offense came to live on their second possession of the third quarter by going 98 yards in 15 plays scoring on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Seiler to Swain to pull within 31-14 but would get no closer. Hoover added another rushing touchdown from Gailen Richardson early in the fourth quarter for the final 38-14 margin.
North Marion (8-1; 2-0) was lead by Justin Watkins 134 yards rushing on 25 totes while Swain finished with five receptions for 87 yards and two touchdowns receiving.
Vonte Brackett finished with 77 yards rushing (71 in the first half) and Vacarella was 10-of-18 for 122 yards passing without a touchdown or interception.
Hoover was able to use the field position game to it’s advantage and went 6-of-7 in the red zone, a missed field goal on their third possession of the game was the only time the Buccaneers did not score int he red zone. North Marion was unable to convert on third downs throughout the night finishing 1-of-14.
Hoover will begin the Alabama 7A playoffs next Friday while North Marion will host Lake Weir to close their regular season in Florida before hosting the first round if the 5A Florida playoffs on November 13th.