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Spain Park coach Shawn Raney talks to his team after the Jaguars beat Vestavia Hills 21-0.
The second-ranked Spain Park Jaguars travel to Heardmont Park for a Friday night showdown with the Oak Mountain Eagles.
The Jaguars (6-1) lead the Class 7A, Region 3 with a 5-0 mark and can clinch the No. 1 seed with a win no matter what Hoover and Hewitt-Trussville – both 4-1 in region play -- do on Friday, since the Jags hold the tiebreaker over both schools.
Jaguars coach Shawn Raney acknowledged that this could be the region clincher, but he’s setting a high standard for the Jaguars. “We’d like to go through the region undefeated. You go through this region undefeated, that’s something special.”
The Eagles (3-4, 2-3) must win out to have any shot at the playoffs, and they’ll need some help. Vestavia Hills, at 3-2 in the region, needs to lose twice since the Rebels would hold the tiebreaker by virtue of a win over Oak Mountain earlier this season. The Eagles need to upset Spain Park and take down Thompson next week; the Rebels must lose to Hoover on Friday and then lose at winless Tuscaloosa County next week.
“We’ve just got to play hard each week we come out and try to finish strong,” Oak Mountain coach Cris Bell said.
Spain Park posted its second consecutive shutout and fourth of the season by beating Vestavia Hills 21-0 last week, following up its 17-0 blanking of archrival Hoover, which was then ranked No. 1 in the state.
Against the Rebels, Perry Young blocked a field goal that teammate Chase Young returned for a touchdown to set the tone early. Joey Beatty tossed a touchdown pass to Bridge Suber and scored himself on a short run. Beatty was 12-of-16 passing for 123 yards and Larry Wooden rushed 13 times for 82 yards. Wade Streeter added 51 yards on 12 carries as the Jaguars relied on their punishing running game in the second half after rolling to the 21-0 halftime lead.
The defense, led by Jack Connell’s seven tackles, posted two sacks and three more tackles for losses. Houston Hollis, Damarius Farmer, Douglas Henze and Will Dailey all had big nights.
The kicking game was superb, with Tyler Sumpter pinning Vestavia inside its 20 with his two punts of the game and also booting three touchbacks on kickoffs.
Oak Mountain pulled out a 21-14 win over Mountain Brook last week despite the absence of quarterback Warren Shader.
Junior Wyatt Legas stepped in and passed for one score and ran for another to key the win. Shader missed the game after suffering a concussion against Hewitt-Trussville, but he is expected to be back Friday night.
Legas completed 11-of-16 passes for 130 yards and rushed 12 times for 58 yards.
“For us not having our starting quarterback, Wyatt did a heck of a job of running our offense,” Bell said. “And our kids did a great job of rallying around him. We needed this win big time.”
Oak Mountain won last year’s matchup, but Spain Park leads the all-time series 10-3.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Rubin Grant contributed to this report.