Jags outmatched as Hoover holds on for rivalry victory

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Like a bunch of Old West outlaws, the undefeated Hoover Bucs had to shoot it out with Spain Park on the road last Friday night to escape with another victory.

While the Bucs proved they were still the top guns of 6A football, winning 40-28 over the Jaguars, Hoover coach Rush Propst said Spain Park (2-1,1-1) was not intimidated by his team.

That was evident by the fact the Jaguars made more first downs, 22-17, out rushed the Bucs 199 to 98 and stayed close in passing 170-208.

But the difference came down to execution, mistakes and penalties on the part of the Jaguars, and the ability of the Bucs to score almost at will.

The Jaguar were driving early in the contest when Hoover&8217;s Camyren Stokes scooped up a fumble and raced 83 yards for a touchdown. Juan Siles added the point after and it was 7-0 Bucs.

A safety against the Jaguars when quarterback Cody Wells was tackled in the end zone would put the Bucs up 16-7 with about 22 seconds left in the first quarter.

Spain Park scored its first points on an 18-yard pass from Wells to Justin Diliberto and Ben Meadows kick.

The Jaguars would hang tough, however, trailing 14-26 about midway through the second quarter.

The Jaguars scored in the second quarter on a 1-yard James Willis run and Meadows kick.

And it appeared as if the home team would close the gap to a 4 or 5-point margin on what appeared to be a long touchdown pass to Brandon Harris.

But a holding penalty against Spain Park erased that score.

Spain Park head football coach John Grass said his team has been &8220;penalized way too many times&8221; in its first three games, but added, &8220;We&8217;re going to get that worked out&8221; and &8220;this team is going to be okay by the end of the year.&8221;

The Bucs would go on to led 33-14 at the half. And while the Jaguars would make a fourth quarter comeback, it was too little too late.

The final two Spain Park scores came on a 5-yard pass from Wells to Diliberto and 2-yard Wells run with Meadows adding the PATs.

Grass said he thought his team played well in the first half. And if they could have cut out the mistakes leading to two 14-point swings in the contest, he said his team would have been right with Hoover.

&8220;[Hoover is] a great program, you can&8217;t make that many mistakes against a football team like that,&8221; he said. The coach also said he took full responsibility for the penalties.

Actually both Spain Park and Hoover were heavily penalized in this contest, the Jaguars 8-91 yards and the Bucs 12-104 yards.

Propst said following the contest, &8220;We&8217;ve just got to go back and reenergize a little bit.&8221; He said it was tough to stay up every week when everybody&8217;s &8220;gunning for you.&8221;

But he said, &8220;That&8217;s part of football, I mean you&8217;ve got to win some ugly ones every once in a while and we did that tonight. We&8217;ve got to go back and get better as a football team.&8221;

Jaguar quarterback Wilson completed 24 of 33 passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns.

Spain Park running back Eli Smith carried 15 times for 93 yards and Jaguar wide receiver Diliberto caught six passes for 70 yards and two touchdowns