Spain Park quarterback Joey Beatty hit tight end Parker Kelley on a nine-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter to lead the Jaguars to a 7-6 win over the reigning Class 7A champion Hoover Bucs.
It was the only touchdown of the game as both defenses put together strong performances. The only scores for the Bucs were two Barrett Pickering field goals.
Hoover had one final chance in the waning seconds after quarterback Christopher Vacarella hit Shedrick Jackson for a first down at the 26-yard line. The clock stopped to move the chains with four seconds on the clock and all Hoover had to do was spike the ball and attempt a game-winning field goal.
Instead, the Bucs had some confusion and the clock hit zero without the ball being snapped.
Hoover head coach Josh Niblett says they practice that situation every week and just panicked.
“I hate it for the kids because they gave it their all and we had an opportunity,” he said.
Spain Park head coach Shawn Raney said his team fought every second of the game like it has all season long.
“Even though the offense struggled we came through at the right time and I could not be more proud,” Raney said.
Spain Park improves to 12-1 and will next play McGill-Toolen in the Class 7A championship game Wednesday, Dec. 2 at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa.
Hoover’s season ends at 10-3 and its string of three straight state titles also comes to a halt.
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