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6A No. 2 Mountain Brook squeaks past Gardendale 6-0

Brant Berry | PrepsNet

Gardendale, AL – The 2nd ranked Mountain Brook Spartans advanced the the AHSAA class 6A quarterfinals with a 6-0 victory over the Gardendale Rockets Friday night at Driver Stadium. 

The Region 5 champion Spartans put the defensive dominated showdown on ice as senior defensive back Brock Payne picked off a game tying Goose Crowder pass in the back of the Mountain Brook endzone with 0:08 seconds remaining in the contest.  

The stingy Spartan defense has held seven of their nine on-field opponents to a touchdown or less, giving up only 102 points on the season, 31 of which came at the hands of 7A defending state champion and No.1 ranked Thompson

The Rockets threatened early, driving deep into Spartan territory on the legs of Crowder and running back L.T. Sanders until an ill-fated fake fieldgoal attempt was picked-off by Mountain Brook’s Rob Gunn ending a promising Gardendale drive. 

Spartans senior signal caller Strother Gibbs finished the night with 17 carries for 55 yards on the ground while completing 4-of-9 throws for 49 yards and accounted for the game’s only score, a 38 yard bolt into the endzone midway through the second quarter.  Michael Brogan lead the Spartans on the ground rushing for 43 yards on 9 carries. 

Rockets quarterback Will “Goose” Crowder closed out his last game at Driver Stadium with 105 yards on the ground while completing 8-of-21 passes for a total of 25 yards.  The standout senior will play on the next level at the University of West Virginia.  

The Rockets capped Chad Eads’ third season in Gardendale at 9-3.  Their season was highlighted by wins over 7A programs Sparkman, Smith’s Station and Florence and lopsided victories over region rivals Jasper, Shades Valley and Minor.  Each of the Rocket’s loses came at the hands of top ten programs (No. 2 Mountain Brook, No. 3 Pinson Valley and 6th ranked Clay-Chalkville).  

Mountain Brook will continue their trek to the Super 7 next Friday night, welcoming the Clay-Chalkville Cougars (11-1) to Spartan Stadium.