Jags end losing skid

Published 2:18 am Saturday, October 18, 2008

The excitement didn’t come until the final drive, but it was about time for the Spain Park Jaguars. After losing six games since its season opening shutout of Homewood, Spain Park found the win column Friday at Gardendale, 16-14, on a last-second pass.

Trailing 14-10, Spain Park head coach David Shores called time out with fourth down and four seconds to go. He called on his offensive staff to draw up something special and to capitalize off of what was already a nine-play, 71-yard drive. The play worked as quarterback Graham Craig scrambled left and hit Garrett Grisham, who was rushing back to the front pylon of the end zone, from 8 yards out with no time on the clock for the winning score.

“The offensive staff did a great job. They drew up a play designed for our strengths,” Shores said. “We talked to (the players) about the scramble drill and that if things broke down, keep moving.”

Gardendale took the lead early, scoring on a 19-yard run by quarterback Conner McCain, but Alton Daniels evened the score before the half on an 8-yard run for Spain Park.

The Rockets struck first in the second half on a run by Trey Hilliard. A fumbled punt by Spain Park set up the four-play drive. However, Charbel Ghossein kicked a 23-yard field goal to provide the points that later helped Spain Park fight for the win.

“Tonight, these guys just stayed alive. They kept working and kept pushing. IT wasn’t good at times, but when it counted they came through,” Shores said. “It’s a big win for our program to come from behind like that on the road and finally finish one.”

The Jaguars had lost their previous three games by 10 points each, but with the win, they look to finish out the season strong.

“I think its something we can build on. We had an opportunity to win the last three games if we come out to play and produce,” Shores said.

Spain Park (2-6, 2-5) travels to Oak Mountain (2-6, 1-7) next Friday for another Class 6A, Region 6 battle.