Hoover (6-5) vs. Vestavia Hills (11-1)
The Rebels struggled against Hoover scoring only seven points, but their team star, Justin Rogers was nicked up in that game. He should return in fine fettle this week after rushing for 167 yards on 25 carries for two touchdowns against Hewitt-Trussville last week. He rushed for 128 yards against Bob Jones in the first round.
Rogers showed why is he is one of three 6A backs nominated for Mr. Football by the ASWA in a game against Mountain Brook. The Rebel workhorse rushed the ball 33 times for 285 yards and scored all four touchdowns in a 28-21 win.
Rogers rushed for over 2,000 yards in his junior season and is a state indoor sprint champion.
He has also been invited to play in the annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic game played in Mobile on December 17th.
Look for Rebels' quarterback Ryan Howard who averages a dozen pass attempts per game, fullback Don Appleton back from injury and wide receiver Luke Chapman as factors in this game.
What is different from last game? We posed that question to long time coach Buddy Anderson.
"Well I feel like we've improved, and I know they've improved too. We've just got to learn from the last game and they are doing the same so I think it's going to be a great high school game," he said.
Hoover has given up 70 points in the last two games while scoring 75. We asked Coach Anderson if those two teams have shown him anything they can use for this match-up.
"Well, I hope so," he answered laughing "It's not going to be those two's plans. Hoover will be playing us, and so it's going to be an entirely different ballgame."
Everyone knows this is the biggest rival for Vestavia for many reasons. We asked Coach Anderson about the feeling on the team.
"Just like any time we play them or any of our rivals. They are excited and working hard, and we've still got to play the game."
When asked if Justin Rogers is healthy coach Anderson replied, "Yes."
We went on to talk with Coach Anderson about his defense only giving up seven points in the playoffs thus far.
"I think we have improved a lot since the first time we played them," Anderson said. "It's just going to be work and prepare Wednesday, Thursday and be ready to play on Friday."
Coach Rush Prospt's Hoover team comes into this contest knowing each game could be their last under Coach Prospt who resigned a few weeks ago.
They attained a last minute win over Florence 31-28 in the first round and in a second round game won 44-42 after Hueytown missed a 48-yard field goal attempt to win the game.
The Golden Gophers found themselves behind 28-7 after two fumbles, but battled back to give them a chance to win, but like a fast closing horse they came up a nose short.
The quarterback A and B plan looked as though it would unwind when Tyler Ray was injured, but Simon Propst came through like a champion and passed for 262 yards and three touchdowns on 17 completions out of 30 pass attempts. He also added a rushing touchdown.
Propst and wide receiver Ken Barefield were productive, but Propst didn't deal exclusively with Barefield, he also connected with Jemeriz Owens and Michael Hall. Andre Shields worked at running back.
This should be one of the games to watch on Friday not only because of the good football, but this game brings all kinds of emotions for both teams for different reasons.
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