Ted Melton/ ActionSportsPix.SmugMug.com
Spain Park coach Shawn Raney greets his kicker Crosby Gray with a handshake during the Jags' win over Oak Mountain.
Spain Park looks to close out an undefeated region record when the Jaguars host Mountain Brook on Friday at 7 p.m.
Class 7A’s second-ranked team clinched the Region 3 championship last week by beating Oak Mountain. The 7-1 Jags’ only loss came in triple-overtime at Austin back in August. The region championship is the third in the past four seasons for Spain Park, but the first while being in the same region with city rival powerhouse Hoover.
In the ASWA poll released today, the Jaguars picked up four first-place votes. No. 1 Bob Jones has 25.
The Jaguars have relied on a strong defense that’s allowed just 90 points in eight games and just 52 in six region games. They’ve posted four shutouts.
Offensively, it’s been Larry Wooden and Wade Streeter toting the ball and Joey Beatty effectively throwing, especially to Bridge Suber.
The kicking game has been outstanding, with Crosby Gray delivering game-winning field goals and Tyler Sumpter’s kickoffs being automatic touchbacks and pinning teams deep in their territory with his punts.
Mountain Brook (2-6, 1-5) has had a tough season, losing three games by just a touchdown. It’s been something of a youth movement, with sophomore quarterback Hamp Sisson, sophomore running backs Owen Conzelman and Harold Joiner getting lots of action and junior receiver Sims Herron making big catches. Linebackers Will Wetzler, another juinior, and senior linebacker Joe Donald have been stalwarts on defense.
Spain Park won last year’s meeting 19-0 and leads the series 7-4. Spain Park’s all-time record is 99-58, including one forfeit by Hoover, so this could technically be the school’s 100th win in football.