Week two usually starts region play for most teams and this is the case with this region two game between Auburn and Prattville. The Tigers will travel to Stanley Jenson Stadium on Friday night to face the Lions in a big region contest. Both teams are 2-0 overall and look to improve going into their third game of the season.
Auburn is coming off wins over Park Crossing (45-0) and Opelika (16-14) the last two weeks. Auburn was in a fight with cross-town rival 6A Opelika last week and feel like they could have played a lot better in that game. "It was a great atmosphere to play in Opelika last week along with being a good measuring stick," said Tigers head coach Keith Etheredge. "We left points on field and we need to shore up some things and looking forward to a region game."
On offense, Auburn does a good job of running the football with their big offensive line but know that you have to be balance to win consistently in 7A. Quarterback Clyde Pittman runs the Auburn offense and does a good job of throwing the ball downfield and can run the ball if called to do so. "Clyde has done good job of limiting his mistakes and he is a good player for us," added Etheredge. "We have two good quarterbacks that will see some time Friday night." The other quarterback is sophomore Davis Harsin, son of Auburn University head football coach Bryan Harsin. The Tigers are slowly making room for him to see playing time when the right situation arises.
At running back Da'vaioun Williams leads the way. "Da'vaioun is hard to tackle, players sorta slide off of him," said Etheredge. "We have (Jarmarious) Woods and (Killian) Massey that are very good players. Woods has led us in rushing while Massey has a good leg drive. So we have a lot of good players running the football for us."
One reason the Tigers have a solid run game is the offensive line. Joe Frazier, Avery Ferris, Drew Bobo, Easton Harris, Charles Reese and Eric Patrick lead the way. They can just pound on defensive fronts. "We have some great dudes up front," said Etheredge. "I would say it is a committee of talent that work hard and work together. They are going to get better and better each week."
The receivers are led by Dakari Dailey, Marcellus Josephson, and Vj Leverett. All three can make a big play in the Tigers passing game. Also, Leverett can run the ball off the edge for the Auburn offense. At tight end is Cam Etheredge. Etheredge caught a touchdown against Opelika last week. "I think Cam can bring mismatches on the outside," said Etheredge. "He has a bigger body against a smaller guy or the bigger linebacker. He can create separation with his speed. He runs great routes so that is an advantage for us. He blocks well on the perimeter along with great hands. I feel real comfortable with him right there. He is another coach on the field."
On defense, lineman Bradyn Joiner has made the transfer from Oxford to Auburn and plays a big role on the defensive line. Last year at Oxford, Joiner played on the offensive side of the ball but has transitioned over to the defense. Most coaches think that he will still play on the offensive line on the college level. "We had so many offensive lineman, we knew he was a great need for the defense," said Etheredge. "We can still spot start him if we need to play him on the offensive line. We were looking for the push up the middle. He is a special kid and is so athletic that we can use him anywhere."
With Joiner, the defensive front is solid with Jordan Reese and Jamias Pitts. The Auburn defensive has a lot of versatility with their linebackers that can put a hand down and rush the passer.
At linebacker, the Tigers have a lot of talent. Auburn verbal commit Powell Gordon had seven tackles last week against Opelika. Brad Harper is another big time linebacker for the Tigers. "Powell can come of the edge, put a hand down on the line, play at linebacker and probably could play safety," added Etheredge. "You have the same thing with Brad. He plays middle linebacker for us and runs so well." Add in Klark Cleveland that has double digit tackles in both games. Also, Coleman Granberry plays linebacker for the Tigers.
The secondary has Trey Nelms, Mark Toland, Carson Yancy, Jakez Dooley and Niser Pogue. "Carson is very good," said Etheredge. "He is a savy kid that can fly. He made a couple of big plays for a punt return and an interception that was called back due to penalties, but is so special player for us."
Special teams has kicker Josh Owsley that has a big leg on either field goals or kickoffs in the end zone. Another big weapon for the Tigers.
For Prattville, the Lions are coming off a win against Stanhope Elmore. Prattville won 29-6 at home and look to continue their winning ways. "We competed hard with better intensity," said Lions head coach J.B. Wallace. "I wanted to see improvement in the little things of the game and I think we did that."
For the Lions offense, they are led by E.J. Ousley. The senior QB threw for over 160 yards and a touchdown last week against Stanhope Elmore. "E.J. is a smart player that we can make adjustments on the fly," added Wallace. "He brings great leadership and experience to us." With Ousley is sophomore quarterback Josh Browder. Browder brings a little more quickness and speed to the offense but can throw it when called to do so.
At running back is Albert Taggart and Mario Parks. Taggart has great speed and experience at running back and can be very shifty runner for the Lions. "Albert is very aggressive," said Wallace. "The way you see him run on game day, he works that way everyday in the weight room and the field. He is just a hard nose runner." Add in Dj Williams and Donavan Arrington to the Lions run game.
The Lions have talent at receiver. Kam Shanks is very talented. Also, the Lions have Mi'Uhon Callen, Calvin Parker, Jack Studdard and tight end Alexander Peake. "Kam is a playmaker," said Wallace. "He can catch the short pass or go long. He can play a multiple positions for us." Also, he runs the football along with returning punts.
The offensive line has James Gibbs, Joe Lane, Javon Harris, Jerald Abbott and Stephen Stoudemire. The Lions O-line did a good job of protecting Ousley last week and was solid in the run game.
The defense is solid and has linebacker Eric Benson. The Lions defense has only given up 12 points in two games and look to continue their dominance on defense. Benson was voted 7A "Player of the Week" by our fans last week with 13 tackles, a sack and two tackles for loss. "Eric is a smart player and very aggressive," said Wallace. "He plays well in space and he sees the field. When things get cloudy, he is someone we rely on during adversity." With Benson at linebacker are Samuel Payne, Jaderius Fitts, Davion Edwards and Tyce Khatri.
The defensive front is held down by Wendeldrick Rawlinson, Carmelo Smith, Azealen Rawlinson and Julius Toodle. The secondary is solid with Mark Stargill, Tyrell Cowling, Dylan Miller, and J.D. Powell. Laderius Fitts is the lockdown corner for the Lions and can make the key adjustments in the secondary.
On special teams is Lions kicker Collin Rogers. Rogers has a big leg on field goals and kickoffs. Also, Rogers handles the punting duties.
"Auburn is very big up front and they are very active on defense especially in that secondary," said Wallace. Should be a great game Friday night in Prattville.