A week after committing seven turnovers in a loss to Woodland-Stockbridge, the Jaguars (1-3, 1-1 Region 4-AAA) recovered a pair of Golden Eagle fumbles and intercepted a pass, then turned those breaks into 17 second-quarter points while building a 31-0 lead.
“Getting a win like this can cure a lot of psychological ills,” said Spalding coach Clint Ashmore, who got a sports-drink bath as the final horn sounded. “I think our kids had a lot of frustration built up, and they were able to work a lot of it out tonight.”
The Jaguars got well in every possible way in this one, which included two blocked punts, one of which they recovered for a touchdown.
Quarterback Casey Moody rushed for two touchdowns, the first a 53-yard run on the game’s opening possession, and connected twice with Zae Fuller on TD passes. Moody finished 6 for 15 passing for 87 yards, and Zay Sharp carried nine times for 89 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown.
“This is a big momentum-builder for our team,” said Moody. “Our practices this week were kind of down, but this was a big win for us. We’ve got a bye week next week, and we’ve got to get better.”
Chris Dixon scored Spalding’s other TD on a 38-yard run in the fourth quarter, which was played with a running clock under GHSA mercy rules. Will Jeffcoat added a 33-yard field goal.
Spalding’s first-team defense held overmatched Eagle’s Landing (0-4, 0-2) scoreless for three quarters after giving up 118 points in the first three games.
The Jaguars recorded 11 tackles for loss and limited Eagle’s Landing to 142 total yards, 107 of which came on two plays. The Golden Eagles’ lone score came on an 82-yard pass from Phillip Staples to Patrick Wiley on the first play of the fourth quarter, after Ashmore had put in his reserves.
“The scores [from the first three games] didn’t look like it, but the defense has played well,” Ashmore said. “When the offense hasn’t put them in bad situations, they’ve been able to shine.”
Perhaps the week off will give Spalding a chance to apply some polish.