In a Battle of Alabama Giants, Future SEC Talent Reigns Supreme
Two of the premier high school football teams in Alabama, the No. 1 Thompson Warriors and the No. 3 Hewitt-Trussville Huskies faced off in Trussville tonight for a game that will go down in the history books.
The Warriors secured a valuable victory over the Huskies, 35-21. Regardless, the Huskies are still in the fight for a valuable playoff spot.
Conner Harrell, a junior quarterback with an offer from the University of Tennessee, led the Warriors in the victory with 315 passing yards and four touchdowns. Harrell ended the night going 13-for-20.
Harrell, however, is not the only athlete colleges have been keeping their eyes on. Between the two teams, there are around 10 players who have gained notability from colleges around the South.
In the recruiting class of 2021, Warrior "athlete" Sam Reynolds has committed to play for Will Muschamp at the University of South Carolina. Friday night, Reynolds recorded one touchdown and several snaps at receiver and running back. Tre Roberson, also a senior, has pledged to attend West Point and play receiver for Army.
Also, in the class of 2021, Huskies’ players Armoni Goodwin and Trey Washington are looking at two different SEC West teams. Goodwin, the No. 5 running back in the country, has committed to play running back for the Auburn Tigers. Washington will be taking his talents to Oxford, Mississippi to play for Ole Miss.
While not seniors, several other players on both of the 7A powerhouses stand taller than the rest. For the Warriors, three different players look like possible members of the Crimson Tide. Class of 2022 defensive end Jeremiah Alexander and 2023 defensive end Peter Woods have committed to play for Nick Saban. Four-star 2023 cornerback Tony Mitchell is torn between the University of Alabama and LSU, but experts are giving him an 81.8% chance of coming to play for the Crimson Tide.
For Hewitt-Trussville, two linemen in the class of 2022 stand out. Justice Finkley, a 6-foot-2, 255-pound, four-star defensive end has interest from Alabama, Auburn, Colorado, Florida and Florida State. Riley Quick, another four-star, is a lineman with no commitments but interest from Alabama, Arizona State, Florida State, and Georgia Tech.
Since the classification of “7A” was established in 2014, both teams struggled out of the gate. Since then, however, Hewitt-Trussville has consistently made the playoff five times in a row from 2014 to 2018, but the Huskies have never gotten further than the second round.
Thompson, on the other hand, has been a different story. After an 0-10 season in 2014, the Warriors forced a complete turn-around. They have made the playoffs the past three years, and in the past two years, they have made the state championship game twice, winning it all last year in 2019.
Regardless of playoff results, Thompson and Hewitt-Trussville have become pipeline schools for SEC schools. In the 2020 rosters alone, four players from either school are on Alabama’s roster (not including Taulia Tagovailoa, who finished his high school career at Thompson and transferred to play at the University of Maryland after a year at Alabama.) For the Auburn Tigers, three players from either school are listed on the roster.
With this victory, Thompson moves to 5-0 on the year and 3-0 within the region. Hewitt-Trussville drops to 4-1 (2-1 in region play). Regardless of the result, both teams are well within the playoff hunt. The No. 2 team in the state, the Hoover Buccaneers, is also in Region 3. The Warriors are set to play the Bucs on October 23, while the Huskies will play them in two weeks.
Next week, Thompson will take on Mountain Brook, and Hewitt-Trussville will face Huffman.