Spain Park headed to second round of Class 6A playoffs

Spain Park High School head coach David Shores hasn’t been pleased at times with the way his Jags have been executing offensively.

Shores was much more upbeat following a 27-0 win on the road Friday night at Tuscaloosa County, which sets up a game against Minor at Mountain Brook High School for the Jags in the second round of the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 6A playoffs next Friday night.

“I think we played solid (offensively),” Shores said. “We did what we needed to do. They’re a very fast and physical bunch. We were able to take control and re-establish the line of scrimmage.”

DaRon Smith got the Jags (9-2) on the scoreboard first with his 24-yard touchdown run with 7:08 remaining in the first quarter. Justin Lumpkin added the point-after-touchdown to give Spain Park an early 7-0 lead. Lumpkin added a 36-yard field goal later in the first quarter to push the Jags’ lead to 10-0.

Neither team scored in the second quarter or third quarter.

Tamar Mickens scored on a 1-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter and Lumpkin added the extra point to push the Spain Park lead to 17-0. Lumpkin added a 31-yard field goal later in the quarter and Josh Drum capped the Jags’ scoring with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Graham Craig, which pushed the lead to 27-0.

Defensively, the Jaguars took advantage of key injuries to shut down the Tuscaloosa County offense. The Wildcats’ starting quarterback injured his elbow early in the week, and the second-string quarterback left the game in the second quarter with a knee injury. Tuscaloosa County could sustain any offensive success with its third-string quarterback.

Spain Park limited Tuscaloosa County to only 137 yards in total offense.

“They were very limited offensively,” Shores said. “That lent to our success on defense.”

The Jags will travel to Minor in the second round next Friday. Shores said he expected to face Class 6A, Region 6 rival Vestavia Hills for a second time this season, but Minor pulled an upset. No Spain Park player has ever faced a Minor team, Shores said.

“I felt good about playing Vestavia Hills in the playoffs,” Shores said. “Minor is a different deal. To beat Vestavia Hills 21-0 says a lot about Minor. It’s sort of a misnomer for our kids. Hopefully we will prepare just like we would have against Vestavia Hills.”