Spain Park’s comeback attempt falls short against Tuscaloosa County

Published 12:14 am Saturday, October 1, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By SCOTT MIMS | Special to the Reporter

HOOVER — The Spain Park Jaguars found themselves within three points of staging a dramatic comeback over Tuscaloosa County on Friday night, Sept. 30 but came up short in their fifth straight loss of the season, 38-28.

The game’s momentum peaked when Zamir Farris returned a Wildcat kickoff 90 yards in the fourth quarter to make it 31-28, but with just 3:11 remaining in the game, Tuscaloosa County put it out of reach for the Jags with one final trip to the end zone.

“Our kids are busting their butts. They’re close,” said Spain Park coach Tim Vakakes after the game. “We get to that point where we have a chance to take over a game and we shoot ourselves in the foot. I’ve got to do a better job of getting them across the finish line.”

He indicated the Jags’ late game strategies focused on simply maintaining possession of the ball and preventing turnovers. Despite the loss, Vakakes remains focused on helping his players to improve with every game.

“It’s hard to go through this step. It’s tough, but we’re doing things the right way,” Vakakes said.

Spain Park jumped in the lead first with a touchdown from Logan Brownlee, but the Wildcats scored 17 unanswered points in the first half.

An interception from Jamari Mosley kept TC out of the end zone with 4:04 remaining in the second quarter, but the Jags failed to capitalize on the possession.

Just before halftime, the Wildcats kicked a field goal to make it 17-7.

Things were looking pretty dismal for Spain Park as TC scored again just 10 seconds into the third quarter; however, this time Evan Smallwood would answer with a touchdown to cut the lead to 10 points.

Then, with 7:33 on the clock, Jared Smith recovered a fumble for the Jaguars to set up a 53-yard touchdown pass from Smallwood to Jonathan Bibbs, putting the score at 24-21.

The Wildcats kept their momentum going into the fourth quarter as they scored again, but the Jags came roaring back on the strength of Farris’ 90-yard kickoff return. Unfortunately for Spain Park, it would not be enough.

On Oct. 7, Spain Park will travel to face newcomers to Class 7A, Region 3 Chelsea.