Auburn, Ala. – With a 32-23 victory over rival Opelika High last week, Reuben Foster and the Auburn High School Tigers moved one small step closer to their ultimate goal of winning the state championship.
The win gave Auburn the #2 seed in 6A Region 3 and a home game in round one of the playoffs next week against Oak Mountain, the #3 seed from Region 4.
"We want that thing," Foster said of the state championship. "We've got good wisdom about it. If we strive for it we can make it."
Auburn finished region play with an identical 6-1 record with Carver-Montgomery, but Carver won head-to-head 46-20 on Oct. 5. The Tigers have an 8-1 record overall heading into their game with East Limestone to close the regular season.
For Foster, last week's game against Opelika was his first experience in the rivalry after transferring to Auburn from Troup County in Georgia.
"Everybody told me it was intense like the Troup and LaGrange game," Foster said. "It was more than I thought it would be because all of the trash talking and all of the negative toward me all of the time about recruiting and all of that. To me it was more about proving that I belong on this team.
"This was the most fun game I've played in because I had the biggest hit," he added. "It was my best game. Two sacks, a bunch of tackles, offensive carries. It's my best game in a big game anyway."
Foster, the No. 1 middle linebacker prospect in the country as ranked by Scout.com, had three rushing scores on the night.
The hit of the night came on the opening kickoff as Foster ran unblocked into the kickoff returner for Opelika.
"I tried to set the tone," Foster said. "On the opening kickoff they had me emotional. They said I'm not supposed to be #2 (prospect) and I'm not a five-star. They said I've got an IQ of 17. It made me mad and furious. I just had to go out and shine. Their fans were cussing me out. Their players told my friends that they had a plan to hurt me.
"They were physical though," Foster added. "They were out-right physical. They were men. Their mentality is to be strong. Our mentality was to be stronger. We wanted to finish."