Oak Mountain, Spain Park set for important region battle in Game of the Week
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor
Easily the biggest game this week, both Oak Mountain and Spain Park are coming off a bye week needing a win for their playoff hopes.
Spain Park enters off three consecutive losses before that bye week, while the Eagles lost their first game of the season to No. 2 Hoover after a historic 4-0 start.
Now, both are fighting for a playoff spot in a region that features three top 10 teams, meaning the four seed is the one most likely up for grabs.
Oak Mountain currently has the upper hand in a tie for third with Hewitt-Trussville at the moment thanks to a 2-1 region record, while the Jags are sitting at 0-3 in region play.
Clearly that makes this game much more important for the Jags, who almost need to win out. But, Oak Mountain still has Thompson and Hewitt-Trussville on the schedule in its final two region games of the season.
The Eagles currently hold a tiebreaker over both Gadsden City and Vestavia Hills, so a win in this one and a win a week later against Tuscaloosa County would almost guarantee them a spot in the postseason.
A season ago, Spain Park won this game in double overtime 35-28 and the Jags hold a 14-4 record in the series. Historically it’s relatively close, and that should be the expectation from both this season.
Oak Mountain is the more experienced team and has looked better and more consistent this season, but Spain Park has been in all but one game this season (A 45-13 loss to Hewitt-Trussville).
They will likely be in this one as well.
The Jags have too much talent offensively not to score points, they just have to get off to a better start. Slow starts against Hewitt and Gadsden City have kept them from having a chance to win both of those games. That, however, is easier said than done, especially against a difficult Oak Mountain defense.
The Eagles struggled against Hoover in a 42-7 loss, but have given up 28 or less to every other opponent this season. They’ll also be coming off a bye week, giving them an extra week of work to correct those mistakes made against the Bucs.
Aside from that, the offense is loaded with returning talent with quarterback Evan Smith and running back Judah Tait leading the way behind an experienced offensive line.
With Spain Park’s defense giving up 31.8 points per game, you’d expect the Eagles to have success behind those two leaders. Tait has ran for more than 100 yards in three straight, while Smith has the ability to throw and run for more than 100.
Oak Mountain has had more balance this season, which should make them a favorite, but the Jags’ offense is impressive when it’s on and that will let them hang around.
Oak Mountain 28, Spain Park 24