The UTV 44 Friday Night Rivals opened the 2019 high school football season at “The Hill” in Spanish Fort for the Week 1 matchup between the Spanish Fort Toros and the McGill-Toolen Yellow Jackets. Both teams are ranked in the top ten in both 7A and 6A. The Yellow Jackets have won all five meetings between the two teams.
Spanish Fort would start the game off on offense beginning on their own 29 yard line following the kickoff. They would get to midfield on eight plays but would have to punt the ball away.
The Yellow Jackets would start their first offensive series from their own 20 yard line. And it did not take long for junior quarterback Spencer Arceneaux to lead his team down the field. Acreneaux would hook up with senior receiver Jordan Drake for a big play that found the end zone from 38 yards out. The PAT was good and McGill took the early 7-0 lead with just under seven minutes left in the 1st quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Yellow Jackets pooch kicked the ball short and was able to come up with the ball on the Toros 33 yard line. The Spanish Fort defense was holding strong forcing the Yellow Jackets with a 4th down with 4 yards to go on the 27 yard line, but that’s when Acreneaux got his second touchdown pass of the night when he hit junior receiver Byron Millsap for a 27 yard touchdown catch. The PAT was good and McGill extended their lead 14-0 with five minutes left in the 1st quarter.
Early in the 2nd quarter the Toros would get the ball deep in their own territory. They would eventually get inside McGill territory but senior quarterback Jackson Burkhalter, who is making his first start since tearing his ACL last season, would get intercepted by sophomore defensive back Braden Turner who would return the interception 77 yards for the touchdown. The PAT was not good but the Yellow Jackets extended their lead 20-0 with just over eight minutes left in the half.
Late in the half, McGill’s offense would get the ball again after the Toros went three and out and had the punt the ball away. The Yellow Jackets got a short field to work with as they were starting from the Toros 34 yard line. Seven plays later senior running back C.J. Evans ran into the end zone from 5 yards out for his first rushing touchdown of the season. The PAT was good and McGill would go into halftime with a 27-0 lead over the Toros.
The second half would start with Toros doing a bit of their own trickery as they kicked an onside kick and was able to recover it. They couldn’t turn that into any points as the offense would go three and out and have to punt away. But later in the quarter the offense found a little spark. The defense stopped the McGill offense and forced a punt after only three plays. After the punt Burkhalter started the series from the Yellow Jacket 45 yard line. It only took four plays but senior and Ole Miss commit Kris Abrams-Draine got the Toros on the board when he found the end zone from 17 yards out. The PAT was good and McGill’s lead was now 27-7.
Late in the 3rd quarter, the Jackets got the ball again and looked as if they were going to put another touchdown on the board. Senior receiver Kendal White hauled in a 36 yard reception to get down into the red zone but the Toros kept McGill’s offense out of the end zone. Kicker Michael Shine came in a kicked a 24 yard field goal to extend the lead 30-7 over the Toros with less than a minute to go in the 3rd quarter.
Early in the 4th quarter the Yellow Jackets struck again. They started the drive from their own 33 yard line. Junior receiver Jordan Mosley got McGill inside Toros territory when he hauled in a 30 yard reception from Acreneaux. A few plays later, McGill got their second rushing touchdown of the game when sophomore running back Braylon McReynolds got his first touchdown of the year. The PAT was good and McGill now had a 37-7 lead with just under eight minutes left in the game and would hold that score for the victory.
The Toros fall to 0-6 against McGill including four straight against the Yellow Jackets. Spanish Fort will look to get their first win this season as they start 6A Region 1 play as they will host the Daphne Trojans who are coming off a tough 35-21 loss from the Theodore Bobcats.
McGill will get set and prepare for the oldest rivalry game in Alabama, the Battle of the Cannon as they travel to Ladd to take on the Murphy Panthers who are coming off a 19-7 win over Baldwin County.
Tune in this Friday for the UTV44 Friday Night Rivals as we head to Jubilee Stadium for the 6A Region 1 rivalry game between the Daphne Trojans and the Spanish Fort Toros, kick off will be 7PM on UTV44.