Vestavia running back Justin Rogers
What can you say around a running back who consistently rushes for over 100 yards a game and isn’t satisfied with less than 200? If you are Vestavia's senior running back Justin Rogers the answer is easy. Rogers gives all the credit to his offensive line and to the Rebels' defense.
Those things might be true, but Justin Rogers may be the best back in the state. Hoover probably thinks so after seeing him light up their defense for 261 yards on 38 carries.
The speedy back scored all three touchdowns in the 21-17 affair. Rogers has scholarship offers from Alabama, Clemson, LSU and UCLA.
This was Vestavia's first win after after six futile tries over their heated rival Hoover. Fittingly after many accusations and even a spying incident, the victory came in Coach Rush Propst’s final game at the helm for the Bucs.
Coach Anderson's Rebels do what winning programs always do well. They ran the ball down Hoover's throats.
Defensive back Mason Wald picked off two of the five interceptions on the night and accounted for six tackles. Wald is also the punter, and field position was his game as he averaged 41 yards per kick last Friday.
The Rebels were behind 14-7 at the half when Coach Anderson called for an onside kick to begin the second half, and the Rebels recovered the ball and the momentum.
This week the Rebels will face a familiar opponent in fellow Region 6 member Spain Park. Earlier this season the Jaguars were beaten pretty handily by Vestavia, 21-0.
That loss came after an emotionally charged loss to Hoover, and the Jaguars were probably pretty flat.
What seemed like a good idea for the Hoover game, in theory, probably wound up a mistake. What is normally saved for an end of season honor, the entire senior class went out as captains for a game that fell in the fourth week of the season.
That much emphasis on an early game against an opponent you have never beaten was sure to add anxiety to a highly charged atmosphere. Not only that, but it was sure to motivate their opponent.
Defensively Spain Park did enough to win this game, but quarterback Cody Wells and his offense had trouble getting things going. One step forward, two steps back.
The Bucs won the game 23-7, but after playing an ineligible receiver in the game, Spain Park got the win due to a forfeit late in the season. That was the first win over the Bucs for the Jags that is the spawn of Hoover High School.
Last week the Jaguars faced the resurgent little engine that could, Coach Chris Yeager's Mountain Brook Spartans. The return of quarterback Morgan Ogilvie after a broken leg in the first game of the year had resulted in nothing but victories. Ogilvie tossed up two interceptions on this night, which would turn out costly in a close game.
With the game all tied, Trey Del Greco kicked a 29 yard field goal to boot the Jaguars into the semi-finals for the very first time, 17-14.
Running back Eli Smith rushed for 140 yards. E.J. Smith and James Willis added to the ground war.
Those yards may become more difficult this week against Vestavia's stingy defense, but Coach John Grass' defense may not be so generous with Rogers and company this week.
The attack will be lead by the much sought after college prospect, defensive end William Green (6-5, 210). Green has scholarship offers to Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, LSU, Oklahoma etal.
Vestavia (12-1) will host Spain Park (12-1) at 7PM at Reynolds Buddy Anderson stadium.
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