Spalding improves to 11-4-1 overall and 7-1 in the region. Sandy Creek is now 12-2 overall and also 7-1 in the region, but since Sandy Creek beat the Jags 2-1 on April 17 the Patriots win the region championship due to the head-to-head tiebreaker. The good news for Spalding is the second-seeded Jags will host a first-round Class AAA state playoff match at Memorial Stadium on May 3, the first time for the team in the Scott Henderson era.
“Hosting a state playoff match was one of our goals this year. It’s too bad we couldn’t attach a region title to our season, but it doesn’t diminish the fact that we’re having a great season,” Henderson said. “This is a huge step in the progress of the program here at Spalding. It shows the commitment the guys have had this year.”
Spalding rebounded from Tuesday’s disappointing loss to Sandy Creek to jump on Jackson Friday. The Jags scored their first goal in the 19th minute of the first half, as Jake Jeffcoat sent a rocket shot — on an assist by William Thomas — past the Jackson keeper for the 1-0 lead.
With six minutes remaining in the half, Brandon “Cornbread” Thomas scored off an assist by Harrison Turner for the 2-0 Jags lead, which was the score at the half. Neither team dented the scoreboard in the second half as both teams played physical and tough. Henderson said the Jags defended hard at times, but left some gaps during the match.
“I would say we had a solid defensive effort. William Thomas gave us several chances and Harrison Turner showed some great senior leadership,” said Henderson. “Harrison didn’t score, but he had an assist and he worked really hard against Jackson.”
Jackson had 5 shots (2 on goal) and 1 corner kick while Spalding had 12 shots (10 on goal) and 7 corner kicks.
Spalding ends the regular season with a non-region home match against LaGrange Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.