Spain Park falls at James Clemens in first round

MADISON – Four turnovers contributed to Spain Park High School’s season ending with a 21-12 loss at James Clemens on Friday, Nov. 4 in the first round of the Class 7A state football playoffs.

The visiting Jaguars (8-2) outgained James Clemens (331 yards to 213), ran more plays (75 to 59) and recorded more first downs (19 to nine) but could only score in one of the four quarters.

JCHS struck first with a touchdown run with 5:14 on the clock in the first quarter.

Another first-quarter touchdown run and extra point made the score 14-0 with 15 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

Then, Spain Park made a run, scoring 12 consecutive points.

First it was a 26-yard field goal by Cole Starr with 7:24 left in the second quarter to get the Jaguars on the scoreboard.

Then, with 2:58 on the clock, Braxton Barker passed to Jalen McMillan for a 53-yard touchdown pass, but the point-after was missed.

Starr added another field goal from 20 yards out with 16 seconds left until halftime to cut the lead to 14-12.

But that’s as close as the Jaguars would get. They were unable to score in the second half, while a 58-yard touchdown run with 6:18 remaining in the third quarter gave James Clemens some breathing room.

Spain Park turned the ball over four times (three interceptions and one fumble) to James Clemens’ one turnover, but an inability to run the football effectively also played a part in Spain Park’s loss.

The Jaguars rushed for only 21 yards (Clements had 147 rushing yards) though Barker completed 27 of 53 passes for 310 yards.

Barker’s favorite target was McMillan, who caught seven passes for 150 yards. Larry Wooden Jr. added 11 catches for 64 yards.

D’Arie Johnson was Spain Park’s leading rusher but could manage only 16 yards on 11 carries.

Houston Hollis was Spain Park’s leading tackler with nine stops. Cedric Tooson had three tackles for loss.

Damon Wright intercepted a James Clemens pass.