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Home » Football News

Daniels Leads Hoover Running attack

November 20, 2011
Hoover High School



It was early in the seventh game of the year against Homewood when Hoover quarterback Sam Gillikin went down with a season-ending injury.

Gillikin was the unquestioned Bucs leader, accounting for more than 60 percent of the offense in the first six games. The exceptional athlete had run for 463 of the 985 total yards and thrown for 820 of the 1,142 total.

There was no panic in the locker room, but members of a senior class who had played in three straight Class 6A championship games knew things needed to change. The Bucs have compiled a 5-1 record since Gillikin’s injury, advancing to the quarterfinal round of playoffs.

“I have a lot of confidence in our offense right now,” said senior running back Dakota Daniel. “I finally think we’re starting to focus and not wait on somebody else to make the play. We’re better now than we were at the first of the year. We had a lot of big plays at the beginning of the year, but we’re better at driving down the field now.”

The Class 6A second-ranked Bucs (11-1) play at fifth-ranked Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (12-0) on Friday. It’s another road game for Hoover, but that’s nothing new for this year’s squad. Part of the road-game toughness comes from a senior class that has compiled a 52-5 record over the past four seasons. The Bucs have played in three straight state championship games, winning the 2009 title.

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