Crushing speed on both offense and defense, the Auburn High Tigers proved overwhelming for Wilcox Central, winning 48-0, in their season opener.
Tigers head coach Adam Winegarden was as pleased to rest his starters in anticipation of next week’s game against Opelika as he was by the team’s dominating performance.
“It’s a good thing to give everybody on our roster a chance to play today and experience Friday night, and that’s what we really wanted to get accomplished tonight,” he said after the game.
One question mark going into the game was the quarterback battle between Patrick McGlon and Matthew Caldwell. McGlon started and went 5-for-7 for 56 yards and one touchdown, effectively directing the team both on the ground and in the air.
Caldwell, a transfer from Eufaula, went 3-for-6 for 25 yards and a touchdown.
Winegarden was not ready to declare the starting battle as over. “They’ll both keep battling and both keep working at that position,” he said. “We think they are both capable players.
Auburn mostly escaped the weather delays that plagued games in the area. One 30-minute lightning delay was canceled out by a shortened halftime and a running clock in the second half.
Even that could not slow Auburn down, as their speed on defense hurried Wilcox Central quarterback Kavin Carter into three interceptions, and Wilcox Central had negative-47 yards of offense in the second half, with only two plays showing positive yardage.
Auburn’s offense was much more effective, often starting drives in Jaguar territory. Five different players scored six touchdowns for Auburn in the first half, with Tristian Pittman scoring on his only two carries of the half, on runs of eight and 68 yards.
Killian Massey’s running dominated the first drive. He gained 40 yards, including the final six on a touchdown run. Massey would finish with 60 yards on only four carries.
Caldwell connected with Bryson Clague on a 26-yard touchdown pass, while McGlon threw a 15-yard scoring pass to Billy Meadows for Auburn’s last score of the half.
Auburn’s other touchdown was scored by the defense, as cornerback Quay Nelms scored on a 40-yard interception return on Wilcox Central’s second drive.
The Tigers’ only score in the second half came when third-string quarterback J.T. McArdel hit Jamori Thomas on a crossing pattern, and Thomas evaded the Jaguars’ long defensive back for a 57-yard touchdown.
Next week will mark the resumption of the Auburn-Opelika rivalry, as the Tigers travel to Opelika to face the Bulldogs next Friday at 7 p.m.