Jags take down Spartans, finish region perfect
Published 10:10 pm Friday, October 23, 2015
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
HOOVER – The Spain Park Jaguars took care of business against the Mountain Brook Spartans to finish region play with a perfect record, but SPHS head coach Shawn Raney saw plenty of reasons for concern.
“We’ve done a good job of no matter what happened last week or what’s coming up, we’ve just been playing ball,” Raney said after his squad took down the Spartans 21-7. “I didn’t feel like we did that (tonight). We had penalties, jumping off sides. It was a disappointing effort.”
Although Raney said he has plenty to work on heading into the Jags’ final game of the season against Bessemer City and then the playoffs, he did have at least one reason to smile on Oct. 23.
With the victory, the Jaguars (8-1, 7-0 in Class 7A, Region 3) made school history by finishing region play with an unblemished record for the first time since Spain Park opened 13 years ago. The Jags’ only loss this season came against non-region foe Austin in triple-overtime the first game of the season.
“Absolutely not,” Raney said when asked if he saw an undefeated season in region play coming after the Austin loss. “I told the coaches, even after the loss, that I still feel good about this team just because of the way they work and the way they listen to their coaches. I’m happy, I’m just a little disappointed tonight.”
All scoring in the Oct. 23 contest came before halftime, with Spain Park reeling off all of its points in the second quarter.
Mountain Brook (2-7, 1-6) jumped to a 7-0 lead on its first possession of the game when Frank Brown rumbled into the end zone from 8 yards out. Mason Dillard’s PAT split the uprights to give the visiting team the lead.
The Jags then responded with a trio of second-quarter touchdowns: Two of which came on 16- and 42-yard runs by Larry Wooden. The other touchdown came when DeAndre Thompkins found the end zone from 1 yard out.
Crosby Gray added PATs on all three Spain Park touchdowns.
Spain Park will return home on Oct. 30 to face Bessemer City before hosting the 7A playoffs.