Spain Park pulls off upset of Hewitt-Trussville to keep playoff hopes alive

Published 12:29 am Saturday, October 21, 2023

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By KAYLEE BHASIN | Special to the Reporter

TRUSSVILLE – The Spain Park Jaguars faced off against the No. 5 ranked team in the state, the Hewitt-Trussville Huskies, and the Jags put on a show en route to pulling off the upset win with a 50-29 victory.

“We practice like heavyweights so we can come out here and swing like heavyweights tonight, and tonight the kids did it,” Spain Park head coach Tim Vakakes said. “Our kids have done a really good job of staying the course and they made a statement tonight.”

The first score of the game was made by the Hewitt-Trussville Huskies with 8:07 left in the first quarter as Peyton Floyd ran the ball in for a touchdown. It was 7-0 Hewitt-Trussville, but the Jaguars were just waiting their turn.

The Jaguars definitely made a loud and clear response to the Huskies that this game was going to be a battle. With 5:04 to spare in the first quarter, Logan Brownlee ran in a 26-yard touchdown for the Jags.

Within just a few minutes of the Huskies’ score, the game was all tied up 7-7, but the Jags were just getting started. Just three minutes later, Dakarai Shanks scored another touchdown on a 10-yard run for the Jaguars with 2:33 left in the first quarter to make it 14-7.

In the second quarter, Spain Park proved that this was their game to win, as the Huskies wouldn’t get another look at the end zone thanks to a great effort by the Jags defense.

With 7:13 left in the second quarter, Reggie Jackson scored another touchdown for the Jags on a 46-yard pass from quarterback Brock Bradley and the lead was extended to 21-7.

However, Hewitt-Trussville took the challenge and returned it with passion. There was just 5:57 left in the half and Hewitt-Trussville’s Floyd scored yet again for the Huskies, but the extra point was no good. The Huskies were working to close the Jaguars’ lead and it was now 21-13 Spain Park.

The last two minutes of the half were a nail-biter as the Jags were hungrily making their way up the field to the Huskies’ end zone. To close out the half with only seconds to spare, Spain Park worked into field goal range and Alex Lloyd nailed the 21-yard attempt to make it 24-13 at the break.

Hewitt-Trussville did not give up come the third quarter as they started the third quarter just like they started the first. With 8:56 left in the third, Kennedy Mitchell ran the ball in for a Hewitt-Trussville touchdown. The Huskies went for two and they got it, clawing back to within three points at 24-21.

Spain Park, however, had an answer late in the third when Mitchell Frazer capped off a 76-yard drive with a short touchdown run to make it 30-21 with 4:44 to play in the quarter after failing on the PAT.

Spain Park was able to carry that nine-point advantage into the final quarter, and with 7:15 left in the game, Brock Bradley put together a big score when he scraped across the goal line and scored for the Jags to make it 36-21 after a failed two-point try.

The Huskies, however, answered in the blink of an eye when Hewitt-Trussville scored in less than two minutes to trim the deficit back to seven points at 36-29.

But, just like the rest of the game, Spain Park had an answer for Hewitt’s final score of the contest. With just 2:17 left in the game, Bradley hit Jonathan Bibbs for a 55-yard bomb to give the Jags a 43-29 advantage.

On the ensuing drive, Kelby Roberson picked off a Floyd pass and ran it all the way to the end zone with 1:22 left to finish the game on a high. The extra point was good, and it sealed the deal for the Spain Park Jaguars with a final score of 50-29.

“I’m real proud of these kids,” Vakakes said. “The coaches have really loved on these kids and haven’t stopped. Even when it was rough earlier on in the season. The coaches and kids just kept being positive and I’m proud to be their football coach.”

Bradley led the Jaguars with a monster performance for the sophomore quarterback. He finished the night with 410 yards on 26-of-33 passing with four touchdowns, while Bibbs was his top target with 10 catches for 195 yards and a touchdown.

Spain Park will now take on rival Oak Mountain next week. A win and a Hewitt-Trussville loss to Chelsea would put the Jaguars into the playoffs.