The UTV 44 Friday Night Rivals was across the bay for the revival of the St. Paul’s vs. Spanish Fort. The two teams had a fierce rivalry back when both teams were both in 5A, the two last played in 2013. The Saints and Toros are both undefeated in 6A Region 1 and looking to stay on top.
St. Paul’s would get the ball to start the game and looked to be moving it on the Toros defense and got to midfield but then the drive stalled forcing the Saints to punt away.
Spanish Fort would get the ball on their own 9 yard line following the punt from the Saints. St. Paul’s defense had no answer as senior running back Mike Franklin helped lead the offense down the field. The 91 yard drive was capped when junior receiver Kaleb Purdie hauled in a 30 yard touchdown reception from junior quarterback Jackson Burkhalter. The PAT was good and the Toros took the early 7-0 lead with just over five minutes left in the 1st quarter.
Following the score the Saints offense would get the ball for their second possession of the game. Junior Bill Johnson helped the drive with a 19 yard reception from junior quarterback Jay Greene. But then with just over two minutes left in the 1st quarter Greene was picked off by senior safety Mike Miller and the Toros offense would get the ball back on their own 30 yard line. But following the interception things got chippy between the two and Spanish Fort ended up with two personal foul penalties that would put the ball on their own 9 yard line.
Early in the 2nd quarter, the Saints offense would put together another drive on the Toros. Spanish Fort would end up stalling the drive and forcing the Saints into a 46 yard field goal attempt by kicker Jackson Fowler. The kick was no good and the Saints were still down 7-0 with just under 10 minutes left in the 1st half.
Late in the 1st half, Spanish Fort would get the ball before halftime and looking to extend their lead going into the locker room. Starting from their own territory, but it only took 6 plays to move 85 yards. The drive was capped by a little trickery as Burkhalter got the ball to playmaker junior receiver Kris Abrams-Draine who then passed to junior Zavier Love in the end zone for 32 yard scoring play. The PAT was good and Spanish Fort took a 14-0 lead going into halftime.
Spanish Fort would get the ball to start the 2nd half and looked to extend their lead again. The drive started at their own 20 yard line after the kickoff. Again, Mike Franklin who led the charge on the ground. They got down field 46 yards before the Saints defense was able to stall the drive. But senior kicker Matthew Quinn comes on for the 43 yard field goal attempt. The kick was good and the Toros now had a 17-0 lead over the Saints with just under 8 minutes left in the 3rd quarter.
Early in the 4th quarter the Toros would extend the lead even more. Abrams-Draine reeled in a 27 yard reception from Burkhalter to get the Toros in Saints territory. The drove would again stall bringing out Quinn, this time for a 44 yard field goal attempt. The kick was again good and now Spanish Fort had a 20-0 lead with just over nine minutes left in the game.
The Saints were still looking to get their first points on the board had the ball and facing a 4th down with 2 yards to go. Junior running back Jordan Ingram took the handoff but was tackled for a two yard loss giving the ball back to the Toros.
Later in the quarter the Toros had another drive stall and Quinn faced a 54 yard field goal which the kick was no good, but the Toros defense would ice the game when they were able to get Ingram in his own end zone for a safety. Spanish Fort would go on with the 22-0 victory over the Saints.
Spanish Fort improves to 5-1 on the year and remains unbeaten at 4-0 in the Region staying tied for 1st place with Saraland.
The Saints fall to 4-2 on the year and 3-1 in the region but they will have to rebound quickly as they set to host the Saraland Spartans as Friday Night Rivals will showcase this matchup, kick off will be 7PM on UTV44.