Dismukes And Toros Make History

Spanish Fort rolled to the 5A state title behind the blocking of Auburn commitment Reese Dismukes and the running of Ameriol Finley.

Auburn, Ala.--A school that was only founded in 2006, Spanish Fort found itself in unfamiliar territory Friday night as the Toros faced off against perennial power Briarwood Christian in the 5A title game at Jordan-Hare Stadium. With the running of MVP Ameriol Finley behind the blocking of center and Auburn commitment Reese Dismukes, Spanish Fort dominated the championship with a 14-0 win to make Auburn's verbals a perfect three-for-three in titles on the first day of the Super Six in Auburn.

With 37 carries for 174 yards and two touchdowns, Finley was the overwhelming choice for most valuable player in the game but he deferred to Dismukes as a player that was a huge reason for the victory. Coach Bryant Vincent said with the title on the line the Toros ran about 75 percent of their plays behind Dismukes and the big center delivered, much to the delight of his quarterback.

"It's like riding a bike," Finley said of running behind Dismukes. "I love this man. There's nothing like running behind him on a Friday night."

For Dismukes winning the title on the turf at Jordan-Hare Stadium was a dream come true. That has been his goal since he committed to the Tigers and started working towards his senior year. He said achieving it was more exhilarating than he ever imagined.

"It was special," Dismukes said. "I couldn't have asked to play anywhere else our last game with our guys. We're a special group of people. We all love each other. It was just a regular game coming in but it was special to me to come out and play the last one with all my boys. There's nothing like high school football and to play in this stadium for the last time with all my guys was great."

Ameriol Finley runs for yardage against Briarwood

The first half was one of endless frustration for the Briarwood Lions as a pair of turnovers and a turnover on downs kept the powerful offense off the board along with a stingy Spanish Fort defense. On the flip side the running of Finley was enough to give the Toros the early advantage. Taking over on their own 46 following a fumble by Sam Whitaker, Spanish Fort made its first-ever possession in a state title game count.

Three consecutive runs by Finley for a combined 26 yards moved the Toros down to the Briarwood 31. Eventually moving the ball to the 15, Spanish Fort got runs of six and nine yards to cover the distance for the touchdown. The extra point by Bobby Creighton gave the Toros the early 7-0 lead.

That's how things would remain until the fourth quarter despite several scares by both teams. In the second Briarwood took over on its own 35 and drove all the way to the Spanish Fort 13 yard line before the turnover bug would bite the Lions once again. A Ben Craft pass to Tanner Cunningham was jarred loose by Texas Tech commitment Blake Dees and recovered by the Toros to end a threat.

Following back-to-back turnovers by both teams in the third quarter, Spanish Fort came up with a defensive stop to force a Craft punt with just over five minutes left in the period. Taking over at the Briarwood 48, the Toros put together a drive that championships are made from. Taking 12 plays and 6:24 off the clock, Finley capped it off with a three-yard run to make it a 14-0 game with just 10:42 left in the fourth quarter.

Driving down to the 34 on its next possession, Briarwood again turned it over as Craft threw one directly to defensive back Jonathan Cook. His return to the 48-yard line set the Toros up in business with 9:13 remaining in the contest. Following a punt Cook picked off Craft again to put Finley and company back on the field. Two possessions with a failed Briarwood possession mixed in were all that Spanish Fort needed to run the clock out on the Lions and claim the blue map for the first time in school history.

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