He proved that on Friday at Talladega County Central in the regular-season finale for both teams.
It was his 15-yard touchdown pass to senior Will Penton with 9:36 left in the fourth quarter and the ensuing 2-point conversion pass to senior Logan Whorton that proved to be the deciding scores in the Panthers’ 26-20 victory over the Tigers.
For the game, Ivey completed 5 of 6 pass attempts for 55 yards and two touchdowns for the Panthers (8-2).
Spring Garden senior running back Forrest Livingston rushed for 172 yards with a touchdown and a 2-point conversion. He also caught a 15-yard scoring pass from Ivey and had four tackles on defense.
Livingston accounted for the Panthers’ first two scores – a 3-yard run with 8:24 to go in the first quarter and the 15-yard pass from Ivey at the 5:19 mark of the first – to put Spring Garden in front 15-0.
Talladega County Central (3-7) responded with a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter. Junior running back Corey Morris scored the Tigers’ first touchdown on a 3-yard run with 7:39 to go in the quarter. The try for two failed, keeping the score at 15-6.
Junior quarterback Zekyle Stockdale trimmed the Panther lead to a point at 15-14 with his 15-yard touchdown run and ensuing 2-point conversion run with 1:57 remaining in the first half.
Penton kicked a 29-yard field goal with 7:02 to go in the third to increase Spring Garden’s advantage to 18-14, but the Tigers counted with junior receiver Jeremy Allen’s 16-yard touchdown run at the 3:21 mark of the third. The Tigers were unsuccessful on the 2-point try, but they had their first lead of the game at 20-18.
That set up Ivey’s heroics in the fourth quarter for the final.
Jake Grogan led the Panther defense with five tackles, including one for lost yardage. Craig Jones had four tackles and a sack. Whorton came away with an interception and Matt Mullinax had a fumble recovery.
Spring Garden now prepares for the first round of the Class 1A state playoffs by traveling to Shoals Christian (6-4) on Friday.