Courtesy of Ted Melton at ActionSportsPix.Smugmug.com
Larry Wooden rambles against Hueytown in Friday's 31-0 win.
Spain Park opens Class 7A, Region 3 play when the Jaguars travel to Alabaster to face Thompson on Friday at 7 p.m.
The Jags (1-1) rebounded from their season-opening triple-overtime loss at Austin to beat Hueytown 31-0.
“I was proud of the way we played and the way we acted,” Spain Park coach Shawn Raney said. “I think they took some ownership in it this week.”
Quarterback Joey Beatty threw a touchdown pass to Will Greene and ran for another score and Wade Streeter and Larry Wooden each rushed for touchdowns. Crosby Gray kicked a 33-yard field goal and all four extra points.
Spain Park scored all of the game’s points in the first half. Following a storm that halted play for 90 minutes, the third and fourth quarters were shortened to 10 minutes each.
Defensively, Spain Park didn’t allow Hueytown to cross midfield, limiting the Golden Gophers to less than 100 yards of total offense and forcing one turnover. The Jags blocked a punt and deflected another in a solid all-around effort.
In Thompson (2-0), the Jaguars may be facing the early surprise of Region 3. The Warriors were winless a year ago, but former Spanish Fort and Bessemer Academy coach Mark Freeman seems to have lit a fire under them. They opened with a win over Wetumpka 37-13 and then knocked off Pelham 43-13. Neither of those 6A teams are of the caliber of the region foes they’ll face, but Thompson lost to those teams last year. In fact, last year’s Thompson team was the first to go 0-10 and allowed the most points in a season in school history.
The Warriors are attempting to break a streak of eight straight losing seasons, and luring Freeman and signing him to a $121,000 package is indicative of the ambitions of the Alabaster City School system. Freeman entered the season with a 164-37 record and four state titles at AISA Bessemer Academy and two more at Spanish Fort.
The Warriors have been led in the early going by the running of Carlos Stephens and the passing and running of Briarwood Christian transfer Walker Lott, a senior who started two years at Briarwood.
Spain Park leads the series 7-2.