Spain Park drops second game in a row with loss at Vestavia

Despite a solid second-half defensive effort, the Spain Park Jaguars fell 21-10 on Oct. 9 at Class 6A, Region 6 rival Vestavia Hills.

The Jaguars allowed no points after halftime, but struggled to catch up to the Rebels’ explosive first-half offensive showing.

“Our defense held well in the second half, but we lost the same way we did last week (against Hoover),” said Spain Park head coach David Shores. “We came out in the second half and couldn’t find our offensive playmakers.”

“Our offense is having a hard time coming from behind to win,” Shores added. “If we’re going to win, we better get out quick and do what we can early in the game.”

Spain Park fell to 5-2 overall and 4-2 in Region 6 with the loss, one week after dropping their first game of the season against Hoover.

The Rebels scored quickly on their first two drives of the game. Vestavia’s first score came early in the first quarter when wide receiver Sam Wilson hauled in a 32-yard pass in the end zone from quarterback Ryan Howard. Kicker Michael O’Neal added the extra point to give the Rebels a 7-0 advantage.

On Vestavia’s next possession, Howard, facing second-and-22, connected with tight end Michael Brown, who ran the ball nearly 20 yards to score. O’Neal’s kick put the Rebels on top 14-0 early in the second quarter.

Six plays later, Spain Park quarterback Graham Craig’s pass to wide receiver Jake Lee fell incomplete, setting up a 32-yard field goal by Justin Lumpkin to bring the score to 14-3.

On the Jaguars’ next possession, Vestavia’s Reid McFarland intercepted Craig’s pass on the Spain Park 43-yard-line. The interception set up a 26-yard touchdown pass from Howard to Vestavia’s Neil Gannaway.

O’Neal’s point-after-touchdown gave the Rebels a 21-3 advantage going into halftime.

Spain Park scored on its first possession of the second half when Craig ran into the end zone from 4 yards out on a quarterback keeper to score. Lumpkin added the extra point to bring the game to 21-10.

Although the Jaguars pulled to within 40 yards of the end zone late in the fourth quarter, McFarland intercepted Craig’s pass on the 3-yard line to seal the Rebels’ victory.