Friday night’s game between the Enterprise Wildcats (1-1) and Auburn Tigers (2-0) lived up to the pre-game hype as the two teams traded punches for most of the game before Auburn pulled away late in the fourth quarter to win 31-21. But the Tigers didn’t do it without a fight from the Cats.

Auburn received the opening kickoff and marched down the field with a seven-play drive to go ahead 7-0 on a 21 yard pass from Tiger quarterback Clyde Pittman to Ean Nation followed by the point after at the 8:51 mark of the first quarter.

But the Wildcats came roaring back when Mykel Johnson took the ensuing kickoff and raced 89 yards up the middle for a touchdown and the PAT by Andrew Pickard tied the score up 7-7.

The quick touchdown didn’t faze the Tigers as they went 65 yards in four plays to score again, aided by a 15-yard face mask penalty by the Wildcats, to go ahead 14-7 with 6:45 left on the clock in the first quarter. D.V. Williams raced the final 27 yards for the score.

The two teams traded possession numerous times the rest of the half with both offenses stymied by stiff defensive plays and penalties that stopped potential drives. Auburn finally managed to put together an 11-play drive in the second quarter and scored with 1:30 left in the first half on a 26-yard run by Tyler Flakes to take a 21-7 lead into the locker room.

Enterprise was unable to move the ball after receiving the second half kickoff and turned the ball over to Auburn at its own 23-yard line when the punt snap was dropped and the punter was unable to run for a first down. The Wildcat defense, however, held the Tigers to a gain of only one yard in four plays, aided by an illegal procedure call on Auburn, and the Tigers were forced to kick a 39-yard field goal with 7:10 remaining in the third quarter to give Auburn a 24-7 lead.

Enterprise wasn’t finished by any means. On the first play of its next possession, both teams received offsetting personal foul penalties and an Auburn player was ejected. That seemed to be the spark the Wildcats needed. EHS quarterback Aiden White connected with Johnson for an 83-yard touchdown and Pickard added the point after to cut the Tiger lead to 24-14 with 6:35 on the third quarter clock.

The Wildcat defense once again held, forcing the Tigers to give up possession with an incomplete pass on fourth and three at the Enterprise 27-yard line. The Cats began a drive of its own beginning with a 20-yard run by Amare Griffin to the 47-yard line. Four plays later on fourth down, Enterprise surprised Auburn when Johnson lined up to punt and instead, threw a 12-yard strike to Sam Whitaker to pick up the first down and keep the drive alive.

White then found Johnson again for a 40-yard touchdown, Johnson’s third of the game, and after the Pickard PAT, the Cats were only down by three with the score 24-21 with 23 seconds left in the third quarter.

The fourth quarter was a defensive battle between the two teams. Auburn managed to score another touchdown with 2:43 left in the game and after the ensuing point after, the Tigers led 31-21. 

The Cats once again had plenty of fight left and managed to get all the way to the Tiger 2-yard line in the final minutes of the game after a 57-yard pitch and catch by White to Tre Kimmerlen but couldn’t punch the ball in the end zone. Auburn ran out the clock after an interception.

Johnson led the Cats with three touchdowns, two receiving and one kickoff return. He also was 1-for-1 passing for 12 yards, 130 yards receiving and seven yards rushing. White was 11-20 passing for 235 yards. Auburn ran 65 plays to Enterprise’s 56.

Eric Winters led Enterprise on defense with 11 total tackles, six solo and five assists, with one tackle for loss. JT Hooten had eight total tackles, five solo and three assists while also recovering a fumble. Tysen Cole and Keion Dunlap each had seven total tackles with Cole recording four solo and three assists while Dunlap had five solo and two assists.

Turnovers were at a minimum in the game as Enterprise had one interception and Auburn lost one fumble.

Enterprise will face off against the No. 1-ranked Central-Phenix City Red Devils on Friday, Aug. 26 on the road in Garrett-Harrison Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.

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