November’s first week will long be remembered for Atlanta’s first World Series win since 1995 and only the fourth for the team since 1871.
Who’d a thunk a team that struggled throughout the first half of the season to get to a .500 record, then went on a tear without a set 5-man pitching rotation, would get into the playoffs, much less win the title?
Next thing we knew, Enterprise High School’s Wildcats had traveled to Fairhope, defeated the Pirates 35-10 and advanced to the second playoff round, a rematch in Auburn, tonight.
Anyone who didn’t see last week’s EHS win missed seeing one of the nation’s top kickers, senior Luke Freer, who kicked a 38-yard field goal in the first quarter but missed two later attempts.
But he didn’t miss a punt, sandwiching a 38-yard pooch between two 75-yarders.
Freer became one of the all-time best players on the other side of the line of scrimmage from the Cats since the early days of team history more than 100 years ago.
Here are some names to ponder: Johnny Mack Brown (Dothan), Marlin “Scooter” Dyess (Elba), Mickey Andrews (Carroll), Richmond Flowers Jr. (Lanier), Woodrow Lowe (Central/Phenix City), Wilbur Jackson (Carroll), Bob Baumhower (Tuscaloosa), Cornelius Bennett (Ensley), Mardye McDole (Murphy), Larry Ware (Robert E. Lee), Hirschell Bolden (Dothan), Roman Harper (Prattville), Julio Jones (Foley), Jacob Coker (St. Paul’s) and Henry Ruggs III (Robert E. Lee).
Without belaboring the tragedy Ruggs created, obviously senseless losses can happen anytime, anywhere to anyone who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, which is what happened to Tina Tintor in the Las Vegas wreck.
In October 2016, Ruggs, after an injury to Lee’s starting quarterback, started under center against Enterprise but, after the Generals fell behind, moved back to his natural position at wide receiver for the second half and had a field day bringing the Generals too close for comfort in a 31-26 EHS win in Enterprise’s last regular-season game.
The Cats next beat Baker High 51-14 in the first playoff round but lost to McGill-Toolin 27-23 in the second week.
Fast forward to the present, and the Cats have earned their way into the second round for the first time since 2016.
So tonight the Cat are headed back to Auburn High, the school that’s produced many quality players, not the least of whom are Reuben Foster and Rashaan Evans, son of former Wildcat running back Alan Evans.
The 2021 Tigers are 9-2 with losses to Central/Phenix City, 21-7, and IMG Academy, 27-17.
Auburn beat Baker High 39-3 last week while the Cats were working on Fairhope.
On the first trip to Duck Samford Stadium Oct. 22, the Cats lost to the Tigers 42-28.
Enterprise also lost to 7A Region 2 foes Central/Phenix City 36-27 and Prattville 17-16 this season.
So what’s gonna happen tonight?
Will Auburn or Enterprise advance to a semi-final game against the Central/Phenix City vs. Theodore winner?
Hey, if Atlanta can win the World Series, Kinston High can win the battle of the Bulldogs in Sweet Water, Elba can win at Highland Home and Enterprise can improve to 13-12 all-time against Auburn tonight.
And then beat the Red Devils or Bobcats.
See you on the radio on AM 560, FM 100.1 and 107.1 …