One of two unbeaten and excellent quarterbacks in Alabama — either Clay-Chalkville’s Ty Pigrome or Spanish Fort’s Tyler Johnston — had to lose when their teams met for the 6A state title Friday in Tuscaloosa.
Johnston had a 34-0 record and Pigrome had a 29-0 mark, but it was Johnston and Spanish Fort who walked away with a 31-28 victory in a back-and-forth classic.
The Toros won their fourth state title in six years under three coaches and finished a perfect 15-0.
Defending champion Clay Chalkville (14-1) lost for the first time since the end of the 2013 season.
Spanish Fort clinched the victory when Johnston converted a fourth-and-1 play by about a foot from its own 48-yard line with 50 seconds remaining. Clay-Chalkville had no timeouts.
“I wanted the ball for sure,” Johnston said. “I looked up, saw it was a first down and felt great. It was awesome.”
The second half went like this:
Spanish Fort led 24-7 midway through the third quarter, but Clay-Chalkville was far from done.
Pigrome, named the Gatorade State Player of the Year on Thursday, went 51 yards for a TD to cut the lead to 24-14 with 5:18 left in the third. Spanish Fort’s defense then stiffened as Clay-Chalkville was unable to score on three plays from inside the 5-yard line and missed a short field goal.
However, Clay-Chalkville then scored on a 10-yard TD pass from Pigrome to Nico Collins on a third-and-6 play with 10:10 left in the fourth quarter. That cut the lead to 24-21.
Not to be outdone, Spanish Fort answered when Johnston found Javon Brown for a TD pass less than a minute later for a 31-24 advantage.
But Clay-Chalkville came back again with this amazing play to cut the lead to 31-28 with 3:12 remaining.
Pigrome had 214 yards and three touchdowns passing and ran for 124 yards and a score.
That set up the final drive as Spanish Fort was able to run out the clock and walk away with the title.