Saraland claimed sole possession of the lead in the Class 6A, Region 1 standings last Friday night in a convincing manner, exorcising some demons along the way. The Spartans used a late touchdown to cap a 28-16 victory over previously undefeated and No. 1-ranked Spanish Fort on the Toros’ home field. The win placed Saraland in first place in Region 1 with a 4-0 record. The Spartans are 5-2 overall, having lost their first two games of the season.
The victory also ended a losing streak of five games to Spanish Fort in what has been an intense rivalry for the past few seasons.
“People wrote us off this season,” Saraland head coach Jeff Kelly said after the victory. “We’ve got a bunch of young guys and we just kept playing. We’re seven games in, so the guys who opened the season without any experience, now they’ve got seven games under their belts, so there’s no excuses. It comes down to executing and it comes down to doing the things you have to do to be successful — playing good ball, not making any big mistakes, overcoming all the bad stuff that happens in close games, and being mature. You can’t win a game like this on the road without being a mature football team.”
Kelly said he told his team the game against Spanish Fort was huge because it was the next game on the Spartans’ schedule. Likewise, he said the game this week at home against Gulf Shores will be equally big, because it’s the next one and it’s a region game.
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