TUSCALOOSA Ala, - Spanish Fort (15-0) scored 28 points in the second half en route to a 35-14 win over Muscle Shoals (13-2) Thursday night to claim the Super 6 Class 5A state championship for the third year in a row.
Coach Mark Freeman’s Toros also posted its 24th win in a row to finish unbeaten. Freeman coached the 2012 and 2013 teams.
Mike Howard scored on a 2-yard run to climax a six-play, 78-yard drive in the first quarter to give Spanish Fort a 7-0 lead. The Trojans of Coach Scott Basden tied the game on Zach Sullivan’s 2-yard run in the second quarter.
That’s how it stood until late in the third period when the Toros scored twice in a four-minute span to take a 21-7 lead. Braxton Shabel scored on a 2-yard run and Class 5A Game MVP Tyler Johnston tacked on a 9-yard TD run.
LaDarrell Pettway’s 79-yard punt return with 10:44 to go was the clincher for the Toros. Four minutes later, Maurice Cole recovered a misplayed Muscle Shoals snap in the end zone to score a defensive touchdown for Spanish Fort to close out the Toros’ scoring.
Luke Smothers hauled in a 16-yard pass from his younger brother Landon Smothers with 2:38 left for Muscle Shoals’ final TD.
Johnston, who rushed for 53 yards on 12 carries, was 10-of-15 passing for 219 yards with a 69-yard toss to Pettway to set up one TD. Pettway finished with four catches for 98 yards and returned four punts for 92 yards. Shabel was the Toros’ leading rusher with 57 yards on 10 attempts. Place-kicker Alex Theodore kicked all six kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks and also punted four times for a 34.8 average with one pinning Muscle Shoals inside its own 15.
Sullivan paced the Trojans with 90 yards rushing on 16 carries. Smothers finished 8-of-15 passing for 74 yards. Punter Rhett Morrison also had seven punts for a 39.3 average.
Garrett Isbell had 13 tackles, Dylan Montgomery added 11 and Damarion King 10 for Muscle Shoals. Tomas Johnston and Tommie Jackson led Spanish Fort with seven tackles each. The Toros defense had seven stops for losses.