Auburn 45, Thomas Jefferson 21
(Auburn, WA) Auburn Trojans Head Coach Gordon Elliott was extremely blunt with his team after improving to 3-0 last week and told his squad they had a lot of work to do. After this game he may have to get even more creative in getting that message across as the Trojans looked like a well oiled machine in their big win over Thomas Jefferson to improve to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the Olympic Division of the NPSL.
Aubuen won the coin toss and unlike most teams the Trojans like to take the opening kick-off and not defer the decision to the 2nd half. Auburn would get the ball on their own 37 and marched down the field chewing up yardage including a 20-yard run by QB Gavin Strojan and 25-yard sprint from Darious Hatcher worked the ball down to the 1 where Jojo Fagan would punch it in. The PAT missed and Auburn took a 6-0 lead.
After trading possessions the Trojans would take over on their own 33 and once again ran it down the field with a key big run from EJ Brown for 25-yards. Cole Washburn would finish it off with a 2-yard plunge. Auburn would go for 2 as Fagan swept it in for the conversion making it 14-0 in the 2nd quarter.
The Raiders got back into the game on their next switching to their wildcat formation. Jayvon Buckley moved into the Wildcat position while QB Mason Delacruz split out with. The formation confused the Trojans and the Raiders rolled down the field with Buckley taking it in from the 18, Chase Fazio kicked the extra point to cut the lead to 14-7.
The Trojans answered taking just 2 plays to do so after a good kick-off return by EJ Brown to the 49. Hatcher ripped off a 28-yard run followed by a 23-yard scamper from Fagan and the Trojans were back up by 14 leading 21-7.
TJ then put together an impressive 12-play drive shifting back to their regular offense and Delacruz under center. 12-plays later Delacruz forced his way in for their 2nd score and with 1:46 to play were back in the game down by 7 21-14.
Auburn would take advantage of those 106-seconds and used each and every one of them capping it with a 33-yard field from Strojan. The score took away the momentum the Raiders had just built on their 12-play scoring drive heading into halftime. This also won our ProActive Physical Therapy Play of the Game.
TJ was set to receive the 2nd half kick-off but after 1 1st down the drive stalled and Auburn took over on their own 19. Once again the Raiders could not stop the run game as the Trojans rolled down the field in steady increments from 4 to 10 yards with the final 4 coming from EJ Brown for his 2nd TD of the game.
Auburn would add another TD just 5-seconds into the 4th quarter. Brown would be the culprit again from the 9-yard line and it was now 38-14. The Raiders would score again on a beautiful 35-yard TD pass from Delacruz to Daniel Bang to make it 38-21. Auburn’s Ben Freeman finished off the scoring with an 11-yard run with about a minute left to play in the game for the final 45-21 score.
Delacruz did make a spectacular run on the final play of the game including hurdling over a would-be tackler and scrambling from one side of the field all the way to the other and getting in for a score as time expired. But penalties wiped out the play and the game was over.
The Trojans rolled up 415 yards on the ground with 9 runners getting their hands on the ball. Jojo Fagan led with 81 yards and 2 TD’s, Darious Hatcher had 78, Gavin Strojan 75, EJ Brown 60 with 2 TD’s, Ben Freeman 50 and 1 TD, Nate Johnson had 46, Gil-Shawn Johnson 25, Cole Washburn 10 with a TD and Zach Redelf with 2. Strojan completed 1 of 2 pass attempts for 22 yards and the Trojans racked up a total of 437 offensive yards.
This all happened behind an offensive line that dominated all night and Dustin Barrows, Kris Wilhoyte, Jacob Kludsikofsky, Bailey Pederson and David Tupuola were named our Tommy Lowe of the Greene Realty Group Players of the Game for the Trojans.
Mason Delacruz won the award for the Raiders after rushing for 58 yards and a touchdown and going 5-7 passing for 48 yards and a TD. The Raiders will play again next Thursday at Auburn against Auburn Mountainview while the Trojans will play next Friday at home against Enumclaw.