PRATTVILLE -- It took a defensive stop by the Tigers defending a pass in the end zone as Auburn squeezes by Prattville 20-14 at Stanley-Jenson Stadium. Auburn had a chance to go up by nine points but a field goal opportunity was fumbled away with less than two minutes left in the game and Prattville drove the length of the field for a shot at the game winning touchdown but three Auburn defenders knocked the ball away to give the Tigers the region win.
Auburn (3-0, 1-0) led throughout the game, but Prattville kept hanging around the whole game but fell short at the end. "We made some plays at the end but we made a lot of mistakes we need to clean up," said Tigers head coach Keith Etheredge. "It is a good region win against a good Prattville team so we will take it. Hats off to Prattville, they made some big plays."
Both teams had field goal chances in the first half but were off the mark and no one scored during the the first quarter. The Auburn defense created three turnovers in the first half and that was key for the Tigers as they get 10 points off of those turnovers. Auburn defensive back Carson Yancy picked off a pass and returned it deep into Prattville territory and the Tigers took advantage of the turnover to get their first score of the game. With 9:10 left in the second quarter, Jarmarious Woods scored on a 14-yard touchdown run up the middle of the defense and Auburn took a 7-0 lead.
Late in the half, Prattville has driving put a tipped pass was picked off by defensive back Jakez Dooley and he returned it deep into Prattville territory. This time Josh Owsley kicked a 40-yards field goal with only :21 seconds left in the half and Auburn took a 10-0 lead into the locker room. "We played for ourselfves and played our hearts out in this game," said Tigers LB Powell Gordon. "This is the last ride for our seniors and we wanted it. I told our guys play like Coach Saban and Coach Harsin is watching in the stands and hold nothing back. It was a great feeling seeing our guys get those turnovers in the game."
Auburn came out of the half and moved the ball again. With 5:50 left in the third quarter, Cylde Pittman tossed a 33-yard touchdown pass to Bakari Dailey who battled the defender for the Auburn score. With the touchdown, Auburn led 17-0. But on the ensuing kickoff, Prattville moved the ball down the field to get on the scoreboard. With 3:45 left in the third quarter, Mario Parks ran for a 17-yard touchdown. A long E.J. Ousley pass to Kam Shanks setup the Prattville touchdown. With the score, Prattville cut the Auburn lead to 17-7.
With 10:48 left in the fourth quarter, the Tigers drove again. Owsley kicked his second field goal of the night on a 44-yard field goal. With the score, Auburn led 20-7. With 8:56 left in the game, Dooley picked off his second pass of the game. "We fought very hard tonight, we stayed strong and came together," said DB Dooley. "I just listened to my coaches all week long to make sure my alignment was right and just made plays on the ball. I thank my coaches. People doubted us but we just pulled it off."
The Prattville defense and gave the ball back to the Lions offense and they took advantage of it. With 2:40 left in the game, Ousley found Shanks on a short pass and he took it 65-yards for a Lions touchdown. With the score, Auburn led 20-14 late in the game. Auburn pounced on the onside kick and drove the ball deep into the Lions territory but a bad snap on the 36-yard field goal attempt gave the ball back to Prattville. Again, the Lions had a shot at the end but came up empty of defensive backs Yancy, Dooley and Trey Nelms knocked the ball to the ground.
QB's Pittman completed 7-of-17 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown, while Ousley completed 9-of-19 passing for 150 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions.
Up next for both teams, Auburn will host Dothan while Prattville will host Smiths Station next week.