Un-four-getable: Thompson dynasty reigns supreme in dominant 4th consecutive championship

Published 11:56 pm Wednesday, November 30, 2022

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By LAUREN SEXTON | Sports Reporter

AUBURN – Facing their large crowd as time ticked off the clock in the 2022 Class 7A State Championship on Wednesday, Nov. 30, Thompson players started flashing the number four in celebration.

It was the number of the night for the Warriors, who jolted out to a 21-0 lead over Auburn and never looked back en route to the team’s fourth consecutive state championship thanks to a dominant 49-24 victory inside Auburn University’s Jordan-Hare Stadium.

“We had so many kids make life-changing decisions this year that will go with him forever,” Thompson head coach Mark Freeman said about the Warriors’ 2022 season. “Football is great and it’s the tool that we used. I’m so proud of our players and our coaches. I’m so thankful for God.”

Auburn made a run in the second quarter, cutting the deficit to 21-10, but the Warriors scored just before half and then came back out to start the third quarter with an 80-yard touchdown run from AJ Green that put them on top 35-10.

Behind that big play and eighth-grade quarterback Trent Seaborn totaling four touchdown passes to Kolby Hearn and five for the game, the Warriors pulled away for the impressive win.

“It was just our preparation,” senior Peter Wood said about the Warriors preparing for their final game of the season. “We had great preparation going into Hoover weekend and we decided to carry it over. Our coaches put together an unbelievable game plan. We just executed it for most of the game. The offense gave us break after break after break, giving touchdown after touchdown. And we did our part, we complemented each other really well.”

Two years ago, Williams had the miracle blocked punt that changed the direction of the 2020 State Championship, and this year, he left his stamp on the game with four touchdown receptions and 142 yards on six catches.

“Our journey was way different this year,” Williams said about which of his four state wins at Thompson were his favorite. “It brought us more together than any team could be together right now, and I thank coach Freeman for that.”

Thompson took a 28-10 lead before the halftime break after an electrifying first quarter. The Warriors were a force to be reckoned with early, as the Warriors forced three three-and-outs in the opening quarter and scored touchdowns on each of the ensuing offensive drives.

After Thompson’s defense forced a three-and-out on Auburn’s opening possession thanks to a Tony Mitchell sack, the Warriors quickly took advantage of their first opportunity at a touchdown.

Seaborn and Green put together a nice drive that was eventually capped off with a Green 1-yard touchdown run.

“It was kind of just like a regular game,” Seaborn said about his first State Championship game. “I try to think of it just like any other game postseason throughout the regular season. I just pray to God for every game. I just pray for him to give me deliverance throughout the game. Keep me safe, keep the whole team safe.”

Seaborn drove the ball deep into Tiger territory.

After that, the remaining two touchdowns came with Seaborn hitting Kolby Hearn for 49 yards on a dime of a pass and then Williams for their first of four touchdowns on an 8-yard pass to make it 21-0 at the end of one.

Auburn was able to obtain a touchdown of its own before the half concluded, but not without the Warriors answering back.

Following 10 unanswered by the Tigers, Thompson got one last big play on a 36-yard touchdown pass from Seaborn to Williams to make it 28-10 at the half.

Within the first 12 seconds of the second half, the Warriors increased their score by another touchdown. Green glided into the end zone after an 80-yard run.

Auburn was limited yet again in the third quarter by the dominant presence of the Thompson defense. Seth Hampton finished the night with six tackles, while Peter Woods and Jasiah Ward totaled five and prevented any hopes of a comeback.

Then, on the ensuing drive, Thompson got an interception from Kaleb Harris and the Warriors quickly capitalized with another touchdown pass from Seaborn to Williams.

That duo connected one more time from 25 yards out to end the scoring and put Thompson up 49-10 before Auburn scored two late touchdowns.

“Some of them guys they’ll have life-changing experiences from this,” Freeman said. “They were not going to be starting football players this time last year and they just worked and just kept working. That’s the great thing about football is the platform it builds for life.”

Seaborn finished 12-14 and totaled 207 yards with a new Class 7A Super 7 record five touchdowns. Hearn finished with 55 yards and a touchdown on three catches, while Green totaled 147 yards and two touchdowns on 21 touches.