MONTGOMERY, Alabama -- The #6 Auburn Tigers get three first half touchdowns and the Tigers defense hangs on to get the Class 7A Region 3 win over Lee-Montgomery 21-17 Thursday night at the Cramton Bowl.
The Tigers offense was shut out the second half but the Tigers defense only gave up a touchdown in the second half and get a late interception to close out the Generals. "I thought it was a hard fought game by both teams tonight," said Tigers head coach Adam Winegarden. "Give Lee a lot of credit for playing a hard fought game and I thought we played our tails off in a hard hitting ball game. I'm proud of all of our kids the way the gutted out the game."
Lee-Montgomery (3-1, 1-1) scored first in the game when Auburn punted a short punt inside their own 30-yard line and a few plays later, the Generals converted a 24-yard field goal by running back Tadarrian Murray to give Lee a 3-0 lead with :44 seconds left in the first quarter.
Auburn (4-0, 2-0) scored on a Griffin Speaks to Tommy Nesmith 6-yard touchdown play for the Tigers. With the touchdown, Auburn took at 7-3 lead with 9:38 left in the second quarter. With 7:44 left in the half, Lee took the lead back on a Tyrone Franklin to Frederick Scott on a 24-yard touchdown score for the Generals. Lee went for the two-point conversion and scored on a Murray run. With the Generals score, Lee took a 11-7 lead midway through the second quarter.
With 4:00 left in the half, Auburn score on a Speaks to Justin Brooks 24-yard touchdown pass and Auburn took the lead for good at 14-11. With 1:21 left in the half, Auburn scored again on a Josh Norris 10-yard touchdown run and the Tigers took a 21-11 halftime lead.
The only points scored in the second half came on a Murray 10-yard touchdown run from the wildcat position. The two-point conversion failed and Auburn held on to a 21-17 lead with 5:33 left in the third quarter.
The Auburn defense rose to the occasion early in the fourth quarter when on a fourth-and-16 play, the Generals threw into the end zone but is was picked off by Jay Durrell who was waiting on the errant pass. This was the best drive that Lee had to try to take a fourth quarter lead.
With 3:31 left in the game, defensive back Cally Chizik sealed the victory with an interception and the Tigers get the big region win on the road. "We played a tough team tonight," said Tigers running back Jay Walker. "We are a tough team but we persevered to get the big road win. Our defense played well and we see it everyday at practice. They make our offense better by how hard they play on defense."
With the loss, it gives Lee their first loss in the region and on the season. "We played a good football team tonight," said Generals head coach Tyrone Rogers. "We battled but made to many mistakes. We just didn't take advantage of the opportunities that we had and when you play a good football team it really hurts you in the end. I was proud though of our team out their battling. It's early in the season so we will correct our mistakes and move on."
Up next, Auburn will host Jeff Davis while Lee-Montgomery will host Smiths Station next week.