Spain Park shuts out Tuscaloosa County
Published 11:33 pm Friday, September 11, 2015
Tuscaloosa County’s Jaden Thomas (18) attempts to recover a fumble as he is chased by Spain Park’s Damon Wright (95) during the Jaguars’ 24-0 victory over the Wildcats on Sept. 11. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
HOOVER – After a sluggish start, the Spain Park Jaguars were able to pull away from the visiting Tuscaloosa County Wildcats en route to a 24-0 rain-delayed Homecoming shutout on Sept. 11.
Last season, the Wildcats served as a significant speed bump for the Jags. After falling on the road in Tuscaloosa in a similar weather-delayed game in 2014, the Jags lost momentum on the way to a 6-4 season, missing the playoffs.
“I’ve been preaching for a year. I’ve even tried to invent stuff in practice, stuff to surprise them, because I thought that really affected us last year,” said Spain Park head coach Shawn Raney. “I’m real proud of this group. I think we’ve got a group that’s really bought in to what we’re trying to do, and I think we continue to get better each week.”
Senior running back Wade Streeter finished the night with 139 rushing yards on 23 carries – a significant chunk of the Jaguars’ 230 total yards.
“Wade’s a leader on our team, and he’s a leader in our school. He’s that type of young man,” Raney said of Streeter. “To see kids like that have success on Friday, I think that’s what high school football is all about.”
After the game’s kickoff was delayed by more than an hour because of lighting in the area, both teams came out sluggish, and the game remained scoreless until late in the second quarter when Streeter punched the ball into the end zone from 5 yards out. Crosby Gray’s PAT put Spain Park ahead 7-0 at the half.
With 2:33 remaining in the third quarter, Gray connected on a 31-yard field goal to put the Jags up 10-0.
Streeter blew the game open midway through the fourth quarter after Larry Wooden reeled in a 35-yard pass from quarterback Joey Beatty, setting up a 15-yard rushing touchdown by Streeter. Gray’s extra point put the home team ahead 17-0.
On the Wildcats’ ensuing possession, Spain Park’s Bryan Sanderson picked off Tuscaloosa County quarterback Sam Cooper and ran it back 42 yards for a touchdown. Gray’s PAT brought the score to 24-0.