After remaining unbeaten at home this season with a 35-30 win over Gadsden City in the first round of the 6A state playoffs, Bob Jones will host Mountain Brook Friday.
Similar to the regular season trend, Bob Jones (8-3) had a big first half against Gadsden City. Although the Titans rallied from a 35-10 halftime deficit to get within five, the Bob Jones eventually held on for the win when the Patriots’ defense stopped Gadsden City in Bob Jones territory in the closing seconds.
“It was an amazing finish,” Bob Jones coach Kevin Rose said. “When it was first and goal from our 11 and about 1:31 left things didn’t look good.”
Bob Jones’ second-round opponent, Mountain Brook, beat Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 23-14 to reach the second round. The Spartans (10-1) finished second in Region 6 due to falling to eventual region champion Vestavia Hills 34-6 in Week 9.
Bob Jones and Mountain Brook last met in 2007. The Patriots prevailed 49-24 at home to open that season.
With a victory over Mountain Brook, Bob Jones would face the Tuscaloosa County/Clay-Chalkville winner next week.
Bob Jones’ offense has been fueled by its ground game all season. Kevin Wright, along with Jay Rogers, has helped carry the primary rushing load. Last week Wright displayed his versatility on four touchdown plays. He rushed for two scores of 6 and 24 yards, caught a 70-yard scoring pass from quarterback Trey Bates and completed a 21-yard touchdown pass to Thomas Joa. Wright rushed for 87 yards on 20 carries and caught four passes for 119 yards.
“He’s been unbelievable,” Rose said. “Not many players in 6A have accomplished that feat. He’s been a very special player for us.”
Bates finished with two touchdown passes. He also connected with receiver Ben Washington for a 40-yard score.
Mountain Brook will present a big challenge to Bob Jones’ offense. The Spartans have allowed only 11.6 points per game. They have posted two shutouts and held nine of 11 opponents to 14 points or less.
Adam Harvey and Jordan Donald led the Spartans’ defense against Hillcrest. Harvey had four sacks and 10 tackles. Donald finished with three sacks and nine tackles.
Bob Jones’ defense held Gadsden City to 10 first-half points. However, after the Titans scored 20 unanswered points in the second half it took a critical stop by Bob Jones late in the game to seal the win.
The 30 points allowed by the Patriots last week almost equals Mountain Brook’s scoring average. The Spartans have scored 29.5 points per contest this season.
The Spartans scored a season-high 58 points against Woodlawn on Oct. 5.
Mountain Brook quarterback Jacob Carroll passed for 88 yards and a touchdown and rushed for another 85 yards against Hillcrest. Gene Bromberg rushed for 115 yards and a score.
Rose said that like several other Birmingham area teams Mountain Brook’s football program was built for postseason success and would provide a major challenge to the Patriots.
Mountain Brook “will be extremely well coached and the kids will play really hard,” Rose said.