HOOVER, Alabama -- Quarterback Earl Woods rushed for three touchdowns and passed for two touchdowns as the #4 Hueytown Golden Gophers defeated 7A Spain Park 58-21 at Spain Park Stadium on Thursday night. Hueytown finished the season at 9-1 and cruised for much of the game. The offense played fast and put a lot of pressure on the Jags defense for most of the night.
Hueytown leads Class 6A in scoring at a 55.0 points per game and showed why they have one of the top offenses in the state. "We wanted to finish the regular season in the right way," said Gophers head coach Greg Patterson. "We wanted to work on a few things. We challenged our guys that this game mattered and really wanted to keep working on that tempo on offense. We need to keep playing with great tempo and do our thing. I was pleased on what we did this week."
Spain Park won the coin toss and decided to give Hueytown the ball. With Hueytown on a first and 10 play, Woods threw to De'Andre Coleman on a wide receiver screen play and Coleman turned it into a 62-yard touchdown sprinting down the left side of the field. Running back Ja'khael Rowser made a key block on the corner and off went Coleman for the score. The two-point conversion failed and Hueytown took the 6-0 lead. The Jags took over the football and on the first play of the drive, Spain Park had a bad snap that turned into a safety for the Gophers. Hueytown led 8-0.
With 10:14 left in the first quarter, Hueytown scored again on a Woods to Coleman 45-yard touchdown pass play for the Gophers. Coleman split the middle of the secondary and beat two Jags defenders to get the score. Woods added the two-point conversion and the Gophers led 16-0. On the next Hueytown possession, the Gophers scored. A Coleman 20-yard reception, a Woods 12-yard run, a Coleman 10-yard run, a Rowser reception put the ball inside the Jags five yard line. With 4:22 left in the first quarter, Woods scored on a 3-yard touchdown run and Hueytown took a 22-0 lead.
With 3:00 left in the first quarter, Zamir Farris scored on a 25-yard run around the right side of the line. Offensive lineman Rayshod Burts made a great kickout block around the end to spring Farris for the touchdown. With the score, Spain Park cut the Hueytown lead down to 22-7. A Pierson Cole reception from Evan Smallwood setup the Jags first score of the game.
Hueytown wasn't done scoring in the first quarter. A Vincent Tucker reception took the ball into Jags territory. A Coleman incredible catch took the ball down to the Jags 10-yard line. With 2:00 left in the first quarter, Rowser scored on a 6-yard touchdown run. Rowser added the 2-point conversion and Hueytown led 30-7 late in the first quarter.
On the Spain Park next possession, the Jags were forced to punt. On an bad snap, defensive lineman Keith Green picked up the ball and raced down to the Jags 5-yard line. On the first play after the fumble recover, Woods scores on a 5-yard touchdown run. Connor Wathen kicked the extra point and Hueytown led 37-7 with :12 seconds left in the first quarter. The Gophers scored 37 points in the first quarter with the up tempo offense.
The Jags took over and drove to midfield but DeAndre Franklin picked off a Spain Park pass to give the ball back to Hueytown early in the second quarter. A few plays later, Wood broke off a 52-yard run to setup the Gophers offense deep into Jags territory. With 8:50 left in the second quarter, Rowser scored on a 1-yard touchdown run. A Wathen extra point game the Gophers a 44-7 lead.
With 7:50 left in the second quarter, Smallwood connected with Pierson Cole on an 81-yard touchdown pas play for the Jags. With the score, Hueytown led 44-14. The Gophers came right back as they did all night long. With 7:35 left in the second quarter, Coleman took a hand off and raced 65-yards for a touchdown. With the score, Hueytown led big at 51-14. "I thought when I was outside of our receiver I had a chance to break it and saw that daylight," said Gophers receiver Coleman. "We feel like on offense, that we can score anytime or anywhere on the field. Coach really wanted us to play fast, not let up and pound it."
Hueytown came right back on offense before the half. Tight end Cayden Pringle took a pass and broke a few tackles and put the ball at the Jags 10-yard line. On a fourth down play, the Jags defense stopped the Gophers at the 1-yard line to escape another Hueytown score. Linebacker Jonas Harrelson hit the Gophers running back at the one and forced the fourth down stop.
Spain Park didn't do much with the ball but due to a fumbled punt return, the Jags took over the football again late at the half. A big Cole reception took the ball down deep in Hueytown territory. A Clay Spencer reception took the ball down inside the Gophers 10-yard line. On the next play, Smallwood scrambled and found Spencer in the end zone and the Jags scored on an 8-yard touchdown pass play. With only :28 seconds left in the half, Hueytown still led at 51-21 late in the half.
In the second half, Spain Park moved the ball in Hueytown territory but the drive stalled at the Hueytown 25-yard line. With the Gophers back on offense, Woods scored on an 11-yard touchdown run and with 4:48 left in the third quarter, Hueytown led 58-21 and it was time for the second teams to play the rest of the game.
Woods and Coleman had big nights for the Gophers. Woods completed 14-of-18 passing for 276 yards & two touchdowns with 116 yards on 14 carries and three touchdowns. Coleman had seven receptions for 204 yards and two touchdowns with 80 yards on three carries and a touchdown.
For Hueytown, they will host Carver-Birmingham in the first round of the playoffs next week. Spain Park finished the season at 2-8 on the season.