Dothan nearly made the most of its last gasp. Jabre Barber, double-teamed tightly, came down with a fourth-and-17 pass from Jamal Lane, but he was just out of the back of the end zone, sending Spanish Fort past the Wolves 28-21 in overtime.
It was just that close throughout in the opening round of the Class 6A playoffs on Friday night at Rip Hewes Stadium. Neither team led by more than seven points.
Spanish Fort quarterback Kris Abrams-Draine scored on a quarterback draw on the first play of the Toros’ overtime possession.
Dothan was hit with a big holding penalty on first down and was off sequence. Lane hit Ty Webb for 13 yards on second-and-goal from the 30, but two incomplete passes ended the Wolves’ inaugural season 8-3.
Dothan had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation. The Wolves moved from their own 22 with 38 seconds remaining.
Lane hit Jayden Folmar for 14 yards to the Spanish Fort 31. With 10 seconds on the clock, the quarterback went back to Folmar on a deep pass that drew a pass interference penalty, which moved the line of scrimmage to the 16 with 3 seconds on the clock.
Dothan kicker Cole Odom, who drilled a clutch extra point from long distance that tied the game, was wide right on his kick from 32 yards as regulation ended.
Not much separated the teams in the first half. Dothan scored first on its first possession after forcing a three-and-out by the Toros.
Barber made two catches for first down as the Wolves covered 46 yards in just seven plays. Webb gained nine yards on first-and-goal from the 10 around left end, then crashed into the end zone off right guard.
Brody Barnett’s extra point kick gave Dothan a 7-0 lead with 7:18 left in the first quarter.
Spanish Fort found the end zone early in the second period after a long drive. The Toros had a little help. A Dothan offsides penalty gave them a first down. Later in the march, a roughing-the-passer penalty on Abrams-Draine produced another first down at the Dothan 34.
On the next play, running back Johnny Morris turned the corner on left end and sprinted up the sideline on a 34-yard touchdown run. Tanner Keesee’s PAT tied the game with 11:42 left in the first half.
The Wolves showed some burst when running back Jalen White made his first appearance on the next drive. White made gains of 9, 9 and 3 yards on his first three carries.
Barber made a spectacular one-handed catch over the middle on a pass from Lane for 15 yards and a Wolves first down on the 18.
On the next play, White’s big gainer was nullified by penalty and, even worse, the running back got up favoring his left ankle or knee and left the game.
That drive ended with a fourth-down sack of Lane by Toros defenders Carlos Johnson and Christian Burkhalter at the Dothan 28.
Spanish Fort went 72 yards in 10 plays. Abrams-Draine ran for 10 yards and drew a five-yard facemask penalty. He completed an 11-yard pass to Brazil Patrick on second-and-15, then picked up the first down on a keeper off left tackle.
Dothan’s defense appeared to get the Toros stopped, but on fourth-and-1, Abrams-Draine took an option at left end, broke a tackle on the line of scrimmage and raced 31 yards to the end zone and a 14-7 lead with 3:18 left in the first half.
Dothan answered with a big play of its own. On second-and-5 at the Spanish Fort 44, Lane hit Barber in stride with a slant pass. Barber split the safeties and won a race to the goal line on a 44-yard touchdown reception. The extra point tied the game at 14-all with 1:39 on the clock.
Barber, unofficially, caught six passes for 109 yards and that touchdown in the first half.
Spanish Fort’s Morris was hurt and left the game on its final drive of the half, which ended with the score tied 14-all.
A gamble by Spanish Fort paid off when the Toros recovered an onside kick of the second half kickoff. However, both defenses dominated most of the final two quarters.
Spanish Fort broke the tie in the fourth quarter. Morris got a great block on the left edge by Hunter Manly and turned the corner on a 7-yard touchdown run with 8:11 remaining.
Dothan answered less than four minutes later. A huge run by Webb picked up 45 yards and a first down at the Spanish Fort 14.
Two pass interference penalties moves the Wolves even closer. De’Ante Ramey gained a yard to the 2. On the next play, Barber, out of the wildcat, followed Ramey into the end zone off left guard.
That made it 28-27, but a dead ball personal foul penalty on the Wolves moved the line of scrimmage on the extra point kick to the 18-yard line. That meant the PAT was essentially a 36-yard field goal.
Odom drilled it, tying the game with 4:44 remaining.