In a preview of Enterprise High School’s regular-season football finale at Auburn High School Oct. 22, the Wildcats entertained the Tigers in a junior varsity game Monday in Wildcat Stadium.
Apparently still smarting from Enterprise’s 38-27 varsity win last season that kept Auburn from having a 10-0 regular-season record, the jayvee Tigers looked like they were in town to roar louder than the Wildcats Monday.
The physically imposing Tigers, with a strong-armed quarterback, got a double dose of EHS defense in a game that reached an unusual 8-8 final decision.
Enterprise’s offense aided the team’s defense by keeping the ball away from Auburn, running 12 plays in the first period that allowed the Cats to keep the ball until the final two minutes of the first quarter.
Like the entire game, the first period featured more penalties than anything else; the teams, combined, were flagged seven times in the first quarter, five times in the second, twice in the third and five more times in the fourth period.
Auburn ended the night with 90 yards stepped off, while Enterprise had 50.
But what hurt more than penalties were big offensive plays erased by those penalties for both teams.
At least three times, the teams committed off-setting penalties, adding to the lack of momentum for both teams.
Neither the Cats nor Tigers mounted a successful scoring drive until the fourth period.
But Enterprise scored first, with a minute left in the third quarter, when Auburn quarterback Davis Harsin chased down a bad snap from the visitor’s 22-yard line.
Harsin recovered the errant snap but was tackled in his end zone for a safety.
The Cats were unable to mount a drive to open the fourth quarter and Auburn regained possession at its 31 where Harsin and his mates went to work.
The Tigers gained 13 yards in the air on the first play, then Harsin ran for 5 yards to the AHS 49.
The junior signal-caller broke free on the next play and ran down the middle of the field 51 yards for the game’s first touchdown.
Harsin threw to Gibson Loughridge for the 2-point conversion putting the Tigers ahead 8-2 with 5:16 left in the game.
Being behind aggravated the Cats.
On first-and-10 from the EHS 25, Raymond McGoley sprinted and clawed his way 73 yards to the visitor’s 2-yard line.
Jace Himes scored on the next play, knotting the score 8-8 with 5:16 left in the game.
The Cats were stopped short on the 2-point conversion attempt.
After that, EHS defenders allowed Auburn one first down but got the ball back at the home 28-yard line with 4:01 of knuckle-biting time left for the 7A rivals.
Enterprise had nine plays and saw 30 yards in penalties stepped off against Auburn that carried to the visitor’s 23 before an errant snap killed the drive at the Auburn 37 with 60 seconds left to play.
Auburn completed a pass to midfield but a penalty negated it and three subsequent pass attempts gained but six yards.
Enterprise got the ball back at the Auburn 46-yard line and had two plays for the win.
The game ended with the Cats at Auburn’s 37.
The teams shook hands and headed home.