James (Bubba) Spears was named the Tennessee Titans state Coach of the Week after his Hillwood High team upset Father Ryan 13-10 last Friday.
The Toppers rallied from a 10-0 halftime deficit with two second-half touchdowns and recorded their first win over the Irish since 1991 (6-3).
Andre Johnson’s 33-yard interception return proved to be the game-winner late in the third quarter. That came after a long punt return by DeCora Miller after which Miller ran in from the eight the next play.
“It was a great win for Hillwood,’’ Spears, who is in his third year as head coach of the Toppers, said last week. “This comes when athletes make plays, not excuses. But we’ve got work to do. The question for us is can we build on this win, continue to work hard and practice and improve as a team.’’
In first five meetings since the teams resumed what had been regular contests, Ryan outscored Hillwood by a combined 150-17.
Titans owner Bud Adams will make a $1,000 contribution from the Titans Foundation to the Hillwood football program in Spears’ honor.