Sparkman Defeats Bob Jones For Second Consecutive Year
MADISON- Sparkman head coach Laron White achieved a little bit of family revenge Thursday night at the City of Madison Stadium as his Senators derailed the host Bob Jones Patriots 31-nothing and their head coach Kelvis White, who just happens to be Larons’ younger brother of four years, in the annual battle between the two heated rival schools.
The White brothers have only met once at head coaches. In 2016, Kelvis was head coach at Mae Jemison and his squad defeated Laron’s squad at Tanner 48-28.
“It’s always good to get a win and it was special to beat my brother, but I’ve said many times I don’t like playing against him as he’s my baby brother,” said Laron. “As for the rivalry with our schools, it was special for our team to beat Bob Jones for the second year in a row after 12 years of being on the losing side of the game. Our seniors played well and took it upon themselves to make this game a priority.”
Kelvis, in his first season as head coach of Bob Jones, said, “The game was not about us, it was about the kids, but we’ll have many more times to play against one another. Laron and I spoke about the game and we actually spoke of each other’s players and teams.”
The first half between the two rivals was basically close. With five minutes remaining in the second quarter, Bob Jones recovered a Sparkman fumble at the Senators 10-yard line, but the Pats were unable to score as the Sparkman defense played tough and stuffed any movement by the Patriots.
The Senators got the ball back and went downfield and scored a touchdown with one minute remaining on a 12-yard run by senior running back Chance McClendon. In the second half, the third quarter was scoreless until Andrew Thrasher drilled a 39-yard field goal and, three minutes later, senior quarterback Nick Sawyer hit fellow senior Mekhi Wall on an eight yard pass to put Sparkman ahead 17-0.
Sawyer, a West Point commit, found Cameron Foley, a senior, on a 42-yard scoring strike to put the visiting Senators on top 24-0 and 195-pound senior running back Clifton Shaw capped the evening’s scoring with a 12-yard touchdown with less than two minutes to go in the game.
Sawyer was easily the individual star of the game with over 200 yards total offense including two touchdowns. Bob Jones quarterback Slate Alford was limited to just 45 yards on 10 completions, but sophomore Rowan Jones (5-9, 185) did rush for over 100 yards against a tough, stingy and swarming Sparkman defense.
“Our defense played extremely well as our plan was to stop their run game and force their quarterback to make plays,” added Laron. “We gave them a good look underneath, but took away any deep passes. Our entire box on defense played well as Bob Jones up front was bigger than we thought.”
“The difference in the game was their quarterback,” added Kelvis. “He made the plays as he took control of the game. Their defense played well as we stalled a few times on offense. We played well in several areas, but just seem to run out of gas. After all, we were quarantined for 10 days and only had three days of practice due to the virus outbreak. We’ll bounce back.”
The victory puts the Harvest based squad atop the Class 7-A Region 4 standings with a 4-0 record and 4-2 overall after losing its first two games on the season schedule. They face region foe Florence at home in the next game on the 2020 schedule. Bob Jones (2-4, 1-4), which had to forfeit its two previous games on its schedule due to COVID-19 conditions, will travel to Albertville next week.
The White’s parents were in attendance at the game, but, upon the pandemic in place, they chose to park their blue, F-150 Ford truck just outside the fence in the end zone and watched the game from that locale. It’s well known the parents cheer for both of their sons equally.
“My mother called me after the game and said our boys played hard and she was proud of the game,” said Kelvis.