Holland, Tigers escape Warhawks, 31-28

GRAHAM CARR / Staff Writer

AUBURN– It took longer than most people expected, but Auburn(1-2) escaped with a 31-28 overtime win over the pesky Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (1-1).

Auburn coach Gene Chizik said he was proud of his team.

“That was a very good team,” Chizik said. “We watched tape on them, and we told our team that they were going to play down to the end.”

Former Pelham High School and current Auburn linebacker Jake Holland was able to renew a rivalry against former Spain Park High School and Warhawk quarterback Cody Wells for all of one possession.  Wells was in for relief of starting quarterback Kolton Browning finishing 1-of-2 passing for 8 yards.  Holland finished with 10 tackles, five solo, five assisted.

Both teams scored on their opening drives with Browning throwing a 1-yard touchdown pass to Scioneaux for the Warhawks and Onterio McCalebb scored on a 27-yard run for the Tigers.

Browning ran straight up the middle for a 39-yard score to give the Warhawks a 14-7 lead with 3:52 left in the second quarter.  Auburn answered just a minute and a half later on a trick play that started with Kiehl Frazier throwing to Quan Bray who in turn threw the football back to Frazier for a 33-yard touchdown.

After a Warhawk punt, the Tigers took over with only 24 seconds left in the half.  On the last play of the half, Frazier avoided a sack and threw the ball for a 33-yard touchdown to Sammie Coates in the back of end zone. This gave Auburn its first lead going into the locker room 21-14 after a Cody Parkey extra point.

Auburn scored on the opening drive of the second half when sophomore running back Tre Mason scored on a 1-yard run, extending the lead to 28-14.

Auburn looked poised to put the game out of reach with another drive deep into Warhawk territory, but a Mike Blakely fumble at the Warhawk four yard line kept Louisiana-Monroe’s hopes alive.

Browning found Scioneaux again for a 4-yard touchdown closing the gap to 28-21 with 8:39 left in the final quarter.  Browning hit Colby Harper fora 6-yard touchdown with 1:18 left in the game to complete the comeback 28-28.  Auburn could not do anything with the ball and the Warhawks kneed the ball taking the game into overtime.

In overtime, Louisiana-Monroe could not do anything with their possession and Parkey kicked a 38-yard field goal to give Auburn its first win.

Frazier was 10-of-18 passing for 130 yards and a touchdown and interception.  McCalebb had 138 yards on 11 rushes. Mason added 91 yards on 22 attempts.

Browning led the Warhawks with 28-of-46 for 245 yards.