Rives help Auburn hold on

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 21, 2004

During Sam Rives’ years at Auburn, the Pelham graduate has worn jerseys with the numbers 89, 19, 15, 9, 84, 6, 45, 16 and his present No. 5, but no one seemed to notice.

Now, Auburn faithful from all over associate Rives’ No. 5 with another number: one.

That was the margin of victory for No. 9 Auburn who edged the No. 4 LSU Tigers with a 10-9 victory Saturday after Rives saved a bad snap that threatened to send the game into overtime.

With Auburn trailing 9-3, Rives, the team’s holder, and redshirt snapper Pete Compton began practicing on the sideline for a possible extra point. The snap on Auburn’s first field goal attempt had bounced to Rives.

Since Rives was getting ready for the extra point, he never even saw Jason Campbell’s 16-yard touchdown pass to Courtney Taylor, tying the game at 9-9.

&uot;I had my head down, holding a snap when we scored,&uot; Rives said jokingly. &uot;I didn’t even see the touchdown drive.&uot;

As Rives got into place for the biggest hold of his career in front of more than 87,000 fans, his worst fear came true.

Compton’s first snap bounced off the ground, forcing Rives to hurry to get the ball down, which, in turn, threw off the timing of kicker John Vaughn.

Vaughn’s kick hooked right and it looked as if the game would go into overtime but a penalty negated the missed kick,

The flag, thrown for an LSU defender leaping onto an Auburn player, resulted in a personal foul and another chance for Auburn to clinch the victory.

The second snap, however, bounced to Rives’ right side, forcing him to have to reach back and pull the ball into place before Vaughn could kick it through the uprights, sealing the Auburn victory.

&uot;The first (snap) got back about five yards and then rolled the rest of the way,&uot; Rives said. &uot;The (second) snap landed beside me on the right, and that is worse than bouncing it to me.&uot;

In week two against Mississippi State, Rives saved another snap by picking it up and running it in for the two-point conversion.

The play against LSU, Rives said, was his favorite by far.

&uot;That was probably one of the best feelings in my life,&uot; Rives said.

After learning from former holder and receiver Justin Fetsko for the last four years, Rives now knows his position is not one that receives much attention. He likes it that way.

&uot;I told some of my friends at the start of the season that if I can just get through this season without anybody knowing my name, then I have done my job,&uot; Rives said.

Castilles keep on truckin’

For the second time in three weeks, freshman Simeon Castille picked off yet another pass in Alabama’s 52-0 shutout victory over the Western Carolina Catamounts.

Castille’s second interception of the year ranks the Briarwood graduate second in the SEC and first on the Crimson Tide.

Simeon’s brother, Tim, also had a big night against the Catamounts as the 5-foot-11, 228-pound sophomore rushed for 15 yards on five carries and caught five passes for 45 yards.

Tim now has 158 all-purpose yards on the season with two touchdowns.

Receivers catch up with Vandy in OT

Pelham graduate Bill Flowers stepped up big for the Ole Miss Rebels in the Rebel’s thrilling 26-23 overtime victory over the Vanderbilt Commodores.

Flowers’ 10 receptions for 75 yards were the most catches the senior has caught in one game this season, making his total 13 for the year.

Another Shelby County native, Lawrence Lilly, also saw the most playing time he has seen all year in the Rebel’s victory.

Lilly, a 6-4, 275-pound sophomore from Montevallo, caught his first pass of the season for the Rebels Saturday.

Lilly’s 14-yard reception was his second longest of his career and helped catapult the Rebels to their first SEC victory of the season