ScoutSouth.com: ACA Coach Stephen Hooks

American Christian will host the Leroy Bears for the Friday night contest with both teams eager for the win and a shot at the state championship next week at Legion Field. American Christian coach Stephen Hooks talked about this week's game.

The Patriots enter the contest with all starters ready to go with quarterback and Tide commitment Brad Smelley leading his troops.

"No injuries – should be back to almost full strength. Injuries are those you would expect for the 14th week of the season," Hooks said.

The Bears are solid when it's time to hit the play-off circuit. They sport numerous athletes causing headaches for opponents. Coach Hooks knows what he sees on film of this talented squad.

"Speed, coaching, athleticism, and size – they are the total package. You can see why they have a 16-1 playoff record over the last few years," he said.

Junior quarterback Clint Moseley will try to out-match Brad Smelley leading his guys into battle. Moseley is getting serious looks from schools across the South for the class of 2009. He was nicked up in last week's contest, but look for him to not miss this play-off game.

"One of his greatest strengths assures me that he will indeed play," Hooks said. "He is a competitor. You can tell that he is the leader of their team. He throws well, runs well, and directs their offense in every situation."

The two veteran coaches have much success with their respective programs. Coach Danny Powell is also a true motivator for the Bears--always prepared and ready to play in each game.

"The ability to peak at exactly the right time," Hooks said about a Danny Powell coached team. "That tells you a lot about Coach Powell. He obviously is a great motivator, but along with that he is a great game coach. The team (Leroy) knows how to win and do that on a consistent basis."

Patriot signal caller Brad Smelley has been having a great season, and especially last week. Smelley's brother, Chris, is one of coach Steve Spurrier's quarterbacks at South Carolina. The brothers are truly an athletic duo.

"We have been fortunate to have a lot of good players come through our program for the last 14 years, several of which have gone on to play at the next level," Hooks said.

"Chris was a pure quarterback. Brad, however, is a dual threat QB – and his athleticism is incredible. Perhaps the most impressive facet of Brad has been the way he has elevated both his own play and that of the team over the last four weeks. Great young man, and he will excel at whatever he does in life from this point forward."

When asked of the keys to the Friday night game Hooks stated, "Same keys that are always applicable in the last two rounds – turnovers and forcing them from the other team."

"Leroy is a machine. They will be bigger and faster than us, and more in number. We will have to play our best, and play very, very disciplined football to compete with them."

"I wouldn't swap this team for any other I have coached to face that challenge. They have a special niche in ACA football."

High school football fans need to catch this contest between two great teams, Leroy (12-1) and American Christian (11-2) and two great coaches as they hit the field for the 7 p.m. kick-off at Freedom Field.

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