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ALABAMA 6A FOOTBALL SITE
Hoover wins advances to State Championship
November 26, 2011Hoover High School
Hoover 32, Oxford 22
Even when this Hoover team is down, it can get going in a hurry. Or it can play keep-away, grinding opponents into submission.
The second-ranked Bucs did both Friday night. By the end, it all added up to a 32-22 victory over visiting Oxford in the semifinals of the Class 6A state playoffs.
Hoover (13-1) advances to face Prattville in next week’s Super Six final in Tuscaloosa for their fourth straight trip to the championship game under coach Josh Niblett.
Before they could look forward, the Bucs overcame a 9-0 deficit and two lost fumbles to start the second half against Oxford (12-2). They remedied the first issue by scoring 17 points in just over four minutes. Then they relied on a power running game to erase the memory of the turnovers.
The Yellow Jackets had arguably more talent, but Friday, they didn’t have more answers than Hoover, which stayed on the field long after the game was over to continue celebrating the win.
“It’s the best one because it’s the next one,” Niblett said.
Niblett got an all-around performance out of his team. Senior running back Dakota Daniel carried the ball 28 times for 157 yards and two touchdowns. Junior quarterback Connor Short shook off an early interception to throw for a score and run for another. After giving up 92 first-half rushing yards to Oxford super-sophomore Rock Thomas, the Hoover defense stonewalled the Yellow Jackets on their final three drives.