Spain Park shuts out Oak Mountain to pick up first region win

Published 10:59 pm Friday, October 19, 2018

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

NORTH SHELBY – Three first half touchdowns and a strong defensive performance helped Spain Park grab an impressive 21-0 win over the Oak Mountain Eagles on Friday, Oct. 19, as the Jaguars picked up its second win of the season and first win since Aug. 24.

Spain Park (2-6, 1-5) and Oak Mountain (1-7, 0-6) both came into Friday, Oct. 19 seeking a much-needed win as the regular season winds down as both teams sat winless in Class 7A Region 3 play.

It was Spain Park who came away happy as the Jaguars compiled 364 yards of total offense as quarterback Mason Pronk scored a pair of touchdowns and running back Jalen Henderson added another score for the Jaguars.

In Spain Park’s opening drive of the game, the Jaguars faced a third and 13 when Pronk completed a pass to wide receiver Jaylen Ward for 33 yards to the Oak Mountain 32-yard line to keep the drive going.

Facing another third down at Oak Mountain’s 19-yard line, Pronk found wide receiver David Moultry over the middle for a 19-yard touchdown to put Spain Park up 7-0 with 8:53 to go in the first quarter.

Pronk finished the game 10-for-15 with 161 yards and a touchdown.

Although Spain Park’s first score came through the air, the real story was the Jaguars success on the ground as they racked up 203 yards rushing against Oak Mountain and controlled the line of scrimmage.

“The offensive line we’ve challenged them because we’ve been struggling with that,” Spain Park head coach Shawn Raney said. “We moved some defensive kids over there to have some competition and they’ve got better and I’m real proud of that group. They’ve come a long way in the last three or four weeks.”

The success on the ground came on Spain Park’s second offensive possession as Pronk kept up the middle for gains of 29 and 28 yards to Oak Mountain’s 30-yard line.

A few plays later, Pronk would score on a 6-yard touchdown run to make it 14-0 Spain Park with 4:42 to go in the first quarter.

Pronk finished the game with 67 yards rushing and a touchdown.

For Oak Mountain, the Eagles had trouble putting together successful drives offensively as they were held to just 237 yards of total offense. The Eagles also had two costly turnovers.

Spain Park’s final score of the night came late in the first half as Henderson ripped off runs of 19, 10 and 11 yards down to Oak Mountain’s 8-yard line.

After a Jaguar unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, Spain Park faced a first and goal from Oak Mountain’s 23-yard line as Pronk made a huge play through the air hitting wide receiver George Hill over the middle to the two-yard line.

On the next play, Henderson scored from two yards out to make it 21-0 Spain Park right before half.

Henderson finished with 117 yards rushing on 21 attempts and a touchdown.

Unfortunately, play was halted for several minutes after the Spain Park touchdown as Oak Mountain senior linebacker Jacob Fitzgerald went down with an injury. One of the leaders of the Eagles’ defense, Fitzgerald was carted off the field on a stretcher with 1:24 to go until halftime as both teams huddled and prayed. Oak Mountain players raised their helmets to salute Fitzgerald as he was leaving the field.

In the second half, points were hard to come by as Spain Park ran the ball the majority of the time in the final 24 minutes to run the clock.

On the other side, Oak Mountain’s best chance to get on the scoreboard came in the fourth quarter as the Eagles were deep in Spain Park territory but a fumble and recovery by Spain Park thwarted any chance of a comeback.

Spain Park’s defense held talented Oak Mountain freshman quarterback Evan Smith to just 80 yards passing and 67 yards rushing in the win.

“I think defensively we’ve played solid all year but just haven’t been getting a lot of help from the offense but they kept us off the field tonight,” Raney said. “Our kids played well and I couldn’t be more proud.”

Next week, Spain Park will take on Tuscaloosa County at home and Oak Mountain will play Vestavia Hills at home in the final region game of the season for both teams.