LADY LIONS SOFTBALL
LIONS BOYS' GOLF
LIONS GIRLS' GOLF
LIONS TO FACE SPAIN PARK FRIDAY
September 4, 2012By Jimmy White of Prattville High School
JAQUARS HAVE BIG TIME QUARTEBACK
Putting the beat down from Carver aside coach Chad Anderson and his staff are preparing the Lions for a trip to a hostile environment Friday night. The Lions will take on the Spain Park Jaguars with a 7 p.m. kickoff.
There is little doubt that the Lions will invade Spain Park Stadium at Bob Finley Field and find a pack of angry Jaguars awaiting the Lions. Spain Park would like nothing better than to feast on the Lions after an unexpected whipping from the Austin Black Bears last week.
Spain Park rode into Decatur ranked number six in the state polls. Along with the high rankings, Spain Park’s quarterback Nick Mullens was reaping a lot of love from the scribes that cover high school sports.
Mullens is rated just under Carver’s Jeremy Johnson as the second best quarterback in the state. He has a number of scholarship offers from some of the lower level Division One schools, such as UAB, South Alabama, Western Kentucky, Rice, Troy, Georgia State and Middle Tennessee. A senior, he has thrown for over 5,000 yards in his career, as well as 35 touchdowns.
The Black Bears jumped on the Jags early in the first quarter and at one point during the game held a 24-point lead. Austin was sparked by their quarterback Chris Sparkman. Sparkman threw two touchdown passes, a 69-yard TD pass to Josh Walker, and a 2-yard TD aerial to Malique Elliott. Sparkman finished the evening with 264 yards passing.
Early in the second quarter Sparkman found Walker for a 69-yard TD strike to extend the lead to 27-3.
Spain Park fought back riding on Mullens’ arm. Mullens would throw two TD aerials to Jourdan Walker (19-yards) and 5-yards.
Spain Park closed the gap to 27-24. Austin wouldn’t fold and roared back with a field goal and later added another six pointer with Walker running 37-yards for a score.
Made no mistake about Mullens he is a talented passer. Mullens hit 31 out of 54 aerials in the tough defeat. The Jaguars didn’t do much running, rushing for only 59 yards.
Prattville’s young defensive backs will be in for a long night, and hopefully over this week’s practice they can get better. They will get tested early and often, and the Lions defensive front needs to have their A-game in putting pressure on the talented Mullens. Mullens is more a pocket passer and doesn’t have the elusiveness of Jeremy Johnson.
While Mullens is the leader of the Jaquars offensive punch he is not the only talented player on the offensive side of the football. Wide receivers Dalton Brown (jr.-6-2-170), Jourdan Walker (Jr.-5-9-150), and Phillip Brown (jr.-6-3-170) are three outstanding receivers with speed. Running back Kevron McMillian (5-10-180) ain't bad, and the Jaguars have an outstanding kicker in John Pizzitola.
Up front Spain Park has some linemen with size, Bryant Nowick (Sr.-6-5-315), Zack Williams (So-6-3-240), and Caleb Plaisted (Jr.-6-1-270). Junior defensive back Zac Brown (5-9-170) is a seasoned defensive back, as is defensive end Jacob Chaffin (sr.-6-3-250) and linebackers Henry King (sr-5—170) and Je’-Niah Jackson (5-11—200)
The Jaguars’ head coach, Chip Lindsey, is in his second season. He isn’t a stranger to the Birmingham area having coached one year under Rush Probst in 2007 at Hoover. He left Hoover to take the head coach position in Atlanta at Lassiter High School.
Lindsey is a disciple of Tony Franklin’s spread offense. While at Lassiter Lindsey’s quarterback Hutson Mason threw for 4,560 yards and 65 touchdowns. Mason is now at the University of Georgia
In his first season Lindsey’s Jaguars went 6-6, making the class 6A playoffs. Spain Park knocked off a good Oxford team, in the first round, 42-34, but stumbled the following week falling to Clay-Chalkville, 39-36.
The Jaguars finished tied with Pelham and Vestavia Hills for the final spot in Class 6A Region all with a 4-3 record. Spain Park and Vestavia Hills got into the playoffs by virtue of tiebreakers, the Jaguars beat Pelham, 34-9, and Vestavia Hills, 20-14.
Prattville and Spain Park have played once. The Lions defeated Spain Park, 14-0, on December 8, 2007 in the finals of Class 6A played at Legion Field.
Prattville will be an underdog at Spain Park. The young Lions have a golden opportunity to make a statement this weekend. It is a chance to play and put all the adversity of the beat down the team took from Carver in the rear view mirror. More important it is a golden opportunity to correct some mistakes, and an opportunity to right the boat and steer it toward a successful season.