Spain Park advances to second round of playoffs
By NEAL WAGNER
Managing Editor/Shelby County Reporter
HOOVER — A career performance by senior quarterback Joey Beatty helped the Spain Park Jaguars roll over the visiting Hazel Green Trojans on Nov. 6, giving third-year head coach Shawn Raney his first playoff victory.
Beatty finished the night connecting on 10 of 12 passing attempts for 167 yards and three touchdowns, and completed passes to eight different receivers during the 31-7 victory.
Raney, who has been at Spain Park since 2013, had led the team in only one other playoff appearance before Nov. 6: A 30-27 overtime loss to Enterprise in the first round of the 2013 playoffs.
“It’s big. I’m very happy. I was hoping to get that monkey off my back,” Raney said with a laugh. “That was a good win for us. We came out good in the first half, I think, and jumped on them quick and played well in all phases of the game.
“Joey’s been solid all year. We haven’t asked him to do much in the passing game, but when we ask him, I think he’s comfortable enough with what we’re doing (that) he can make plays for us,” Raney said of Beatty.
As a result of the victory, the top-ranked Jags will host the second-ranked James Clemens Jets on Nov. 13 for a shot at a spot in the semi-finals.
After forcing a Hazel Green punt to start the game, it took Spain Park only two plays from scrimmage to find the end zone when Beatty connected with Thomas Jordan for a 44-yard touchdown strike. Crosby Gray’s PAT put the Jags up 7-0.
After Spain Park’s Larry Wooden added a touchdown on a 34-yard run on the Jags’ next possession, Cameron Toyer caused a Hazel Green fumble, which was recovered by Houston Hollis at the Jags. 37-yard line.
The Jags were forced to punt, but on their next possession, Beatty connected with Bridge Suber for a 31-yard touchdown strike early in the second quarter. Beatty then connected with Wade Streeter on a 20-yard touchdown pass on
Spain Park’s ensuing possession, giving the home team a 28-0 halftime lead.
After halftime, the Jags’ only points came on a 26-yard field goal by Gray.