The UTV44 High School Game of the Week presented by Whataburger headed into round two of the AHSAA playoffs, this matchup was between the Auburn Tigers and the McGill-Toolen Yellow Jackets.
Both teams looking to advance to the quarterfinals round, and take on the winner of the Daphne vs. Opelika game.
Auburn got the ball first and quickly got top recruit Ruben Foster going on the ground, but the Yellow Jackets defense held tough and got the ball after the Tiger could not convert on fourth down.
Jason Smith wasted no time in getting the Jackets on the board when he hooked up with receiver Chris Knowles for a 45 yard touchdown reception. Knowles finished the night with 4 catches for 77 yards and the one touchdown.
Auburn’s Cameron Echols-Luper looked to get the Tigers offense going. They scored on their next possession which only took them 3 plays to let Foster find the end zone on a 1 yard run. Not looking to lose the momentum, the Foster recovered an on-side kick to get the ball right back. The Tigers were no able to capitalize on the recovery when they once again could not covert on fourth down.
The Yellow Jackets followed suit as they were stopped on a 4th down and the 1st quarter ended all tied up at 7-7.
Half way through the 2nd quarter, Jason Smith finally broke through on a run and gave the Yellow Jackets the lead 14-7. Smith scored on any 80 yard run and had a total of 124 yard on 6 carries for the night.
Auburn found themselves facing another 4th down to convert and for the third time in the game the Yellow Jackets defense held
up and got the ball back with just over six minutes left in the half.
Jason Smith finally made his first mistake when he threw up the ball after being rushed and Auburn’s Darian Yancey came down with the interception.
Auburn looking to capitalize on the turnover did so after Echols-Luper found the end zone on a 1 yard run. The game was once again tied at 14-14 and that would be the score going into halftime.
The middle of the 3rd quarter saw Auburn force another turnover by the Yellow Jackets, for the second time in the game Jason
Smith was intercepted, this time by Harrison Riggs. Smith was 15/26 for 126 yards 1 passing TD and 2 interceptions.
After the turnover, Auburn drove 54 yards down field and Tigers running back Cameron Reese found the end zone on a 6 yard run. Reese had a total of 52 yards on two carries for the night. Auburn now had a 21-14 lead with three minutes left in the 3rd quarter.
Late in the 3rd quarter, the game came to stop after Auburn’s Rashaan Evans had to be carted off the field after making a
Once the game resumed, the Yellow Jackets faced a 4th down conversion to start the 4th quarter on Auburn’s 4 yard
line. The Tigers defense stopped the Jackets and got the ball back on downs.
Auburn’s ensuing drive faced the same scenario; this was the 4th time in the game, and for the 4th time the Jackets
defense did not allow the Tigers to convert.
Late in the game the Jackets still needed a touchdown to tie the game up, and 65 yards and 14 plays downfield, McGill’s Ito Smith got into the end zone after a 3 yard run. Ito Smith had a total of 73 yards on 8 carries for the night. With two minutes left in the game the Yellow Jackets had tied it back up at 21-21 and eventually headed into overtime.
In overtime, McGill got the ball first, and on the first play, Jason Smith ran for 10 yards for the score. With the extra point McGill lead 28-21.
Auburn was able to score on their second play of their possession. Echols-Luper found Demikyle Homes for 10 yard
reception. Auburn decided to go for two and the win. Echols-Luper rolled to the right side of the play and was able to get the ball just inside the corner of the end zone and convert for the two points.
Auburn improves to 11-1 and moves on the quarterfinals of the playoffs.
The Yellow Jackets season ends with a 11-1 record.
The UTV44 High School Game of the Week will broadcast games of the state playoffs. Check back to see
each week which game will be showcased. All playoff games will broadcast tape delay so join us on Saturday at 7pm for the
UTV44 High School Game of the Week.