- The Sword & Shield
The Spartans enter the elite eight
by DYLAN SIEGEL, Staff Writer
Mountain Brook plays Clay-Chalkville at home this Friday at 7pm.
After defeating Gardendale 6-0 last week, the Spartans host Clay-Chalkville, who is coming off a 42-0 victory against Homewood. The Spartans come into the game on a six-game win streak; while Clay-Chalkville comes into the game riding a five-game win streak. The Spartans recognize that every team left in the playoffs is there for a reason.
“I think they're a solid team. When you get to the quarter finals or semi-finals, you don't get there because you're not a total team. You're there because you're a total team and you're strong in a lot of places,” Head Coach Chris Yeager said.
Clay-Chalkville proved they have little to no weaknesses in the last three weeks, having scored an average of 52.7 points per game, while not allowing a single point to their opponents.
“Probably the best team we’ve played is Thompson . . . I say they’re [Clay-Chalkville] the second-best team [that we’ve played this season] because they have so many threats,” Yeager added.
While Clay-Chalkville has many threats, none are ranked in the top 100 in the state of Alabama in any grade level according to 247 sports. The Spartans do not have any either. As far as what to expect from Clay-Chalkville, because of their dual threat quarterback, they are likely to go run heavy with a mix of deep shots.
“You can [give up] big plays; but number one, you try to contain them, and let them do minimal damage, and play another down, and hope that they make a mistake,” Yeager said.
Because both teams are great defensively, field position will play a big role in this game, as it did last week for Mountain Brook. Up until Gardendale’s final drive, the Rockets had to go the length of the field each possession.
As far as injuries are concerned, neither team has any. One would think playing so many meaningful games in a row would have a toll on the players, but the Spartans are just as, if not more, motivated.
“Mentally it’s a lot to take in but knowing how important these games are and how easily our season could be taken away from us makes us that much more invested in what we’re doing,” senior defensive back Blake Pugh said.
Clay-Chalkville comes into this game with an overall record of 12-1. Their only loss was at a neutral site.
“Homefield advantage is huge because it creates pressure on the other team and builds momentum for us in big moments,” senior running back Ethan Shunnurah said.