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Postgame Recap | Thompson secures postseason berth with win over Spain Park

Hoover, AL – The third ranked Thompson Warriors punched their ticket to the 7A playoffs for the first time since 2006 with a commanding 40-17 win over the Spain Park Jaguars Friday night in Hoover. 

The last time the Warriors began their season 7-0 they went on to finish a perfect 14-0, securing the schools only state title on the gridiron.  That season, 1982, was legendary head coach Larry Simmons’ final year at the helm in Alabaster. 

This trip to Valleydale snapped Thompson’s eight game loosing skid to the Jags.  

Mark Freeman’s Warriors quieted the Jag’s homecoming crowd three minutes into the first quarter as quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa connected with Timothy Harris for the pair’s first of two touchdowns of the first quarter putting the visitors on top 7-0.  Tagovailoa and Harris extended the Thompson lead to two scores with 0:12 seconds remaining in the first stanza.  

Spain Park got on the board just over three minutes into the second quarter as Cole Starr split the uprights from 33 yards out to cut the Thompson lead to 14-3.  Thompson answered back in their next possession as running back Shad Boyd dove into the endzone from a yard out to extend the Warrior lead to 21-3 midway through the second.  Spain Park answered back with a 97 yard touchdown run by D’arie Johnson to cap the first half at 21-10.  

Tagovailoa scored the first of Thompson’s three second half touchdowns with just under eight minutes remaining in the third, scampering in from just inside the five yard line and extending the Warrior lead to 28-10.  In the waning minutes of the third Thompson’s David Douglas picked off a Braxton Barker pass returning it into the endzone and stretching the Thompson lead to 34-10.   

With just one tick off the clock in the fourth, Tagovailoa connected with Morris Edwards for his third touchdown pass of the night, kicker Evan McGuire’s third point after capped Thompson’s scoring at 40 and gave the Warriors a commanding 30 point lead with just over a quarter to play in the battle of top ten teams.  Spain Park pulled one score closer midway through the fourth as Johnson scored his second touchdown of the night, diving into the endzone  from three yards out, and capping the game at 40-17 in favor of the visitors.  

The Thompson defense intercepted a pair of Braxton Barker passes, including Douglas’ pick-six.  Barker had only been picked off once in the Jags previous six contests.  

The Warrior offense racked up just under 560 yards on the night.  Tagovailoa piled up over 300 total yards, 298 through the air and 39 on the ground while completing 19 of 26 passes and connecting on three touchdown strikes, running for another and tossing one interception.  

Mo Edwards lead the Warrior rushing attack with 147 yards on six carries and a score.  Shad Boyd piled up 123 yards rushing in 16 carries and scored a touchdown.  

Spain Park was lead on the ground by D’arie Johnson’s 117 yards on 8 carries and two scores.  Michael Rogers caught six passes for 95 yards and quarterback Braxton Barker completed 14 of 31 passes for 176 yards and two picks.  

Thompson hosts the 3-4 (1-4) Huffman Vikings Friday night at Larry Simmons Stadium.  Spain Park will travel to Northport to take on the 2-6 (1-4) Tuscaloosa County Wildcats.