5-Star Evans and His Team Showing Resiliency

Bluechip prospect Rashaan Evans and his head coach at Auburn High School, Tim Carter, talk about their team's wild playoff win vs. Carver. Evans, one of Auburn University's top targets, gives an update on recruiting.

Auburn, Ala. – Rashaan Evans attended one of the wildest college football you'll ever see as Auburn defeated Georgia with a 73-yard touchdown pass in the final minute last Saturday. On Friday Evans and his Auburn High School team won one of the wildest high school games of the season as the Tigers blew a 17-point second half advantage to Carver-Montgomery only to retake the lead with less than a minute to go and escape 42-35.

"This is by far the most extreme game that I've ever played in, just the fact that we scored on the last drive, and we had to stop them--once again, just we did at Foley," Evans said. "It always seems like it comes down to that. We always come up big and stop them.

"It feels great," Evans added. "I feel like we're in the process of making history. I feel like my school, we've had a bad history of getting kicked out in the first round, the second round and the third round. Right now we're going to the fourth round. I'm just happy to go."

With Auburn High trailing 14-10 sophomore quarterback Bradley Northcutt gave the Tigers a 17-14 lead late in the first half on a 16-yard scramble. From there the Tigers continued to build on it in the second half with 21 straight points, claiming a 31-14 advantage.

However, Carver struck back with a pair of touchdowns of its own early in the fourth quarter and held Auburn to a field goal attempt with just over two minutes remaining. The Tigers' extended their lead to 34-28, but Adrikus Hall returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown giving the Wolverines a 35-34 advantage.

Auburn had 1:58 to move in position for a score, but it took Northcutt and the offense just 59 seconds to find the end zone as he hit Tyus O'Neal-El.

"We gave great protection," head coach Tim Carter said. "They've got an excellent pass rush. For us to score 42 points, that's pretty unbelievable. Bradley engineered it all night long and never made a mistake with the football. He made good decisions, and I really think we saw him mature tonight.

"I'm just proud of our team," Carter added. "Carver played outstanding. I give them all of the credit. They gave great effort, but our kids played well too. That's what high school football is all about."

After O'Neal-El's touchdown, Evans threw to Hunter Roland for the two-point conversion to extend Auburn's margin to seven at 42-35, but Carver got the ball back with 57 seconds remaining.

"(We had) to get as much pressure as possible," Evans said. "We knew that if we put some pressure on him it would mess him up a little bit to where he couldn't get a good pass. That was pretty much the plan."

Auburn got the stop and the win.

"We're good enough to be in the semi-finals," Carter said. "We've made a lot of improvements against a very good region. It's showing up. We had to beat this group twice. That isn't easy to do.

"Don't count these guys out," the head coach continued. "They play hard and they give it everything they've got. We've had more talented teams, but we haven't had one that's more resilient."

Auburn has had some great teams in the past, but has yet to reach the state championship game. Now the Tigers are just a win away from the Super 6 as they travel to Mobile on Friday to play McGill-Toolen with the winner advancing to the the 6A title game in Tuscaloosa.

"I guess this team is just a family," Evans said. "We all play together. I think that's the big thing about us. We all have our jobs that we have to do, and we do it. We do it to the best of our ability. I think that's the reason we are in this position."

Auburn has now won 10 straight with the only loss of the season coming in week three at Smiths Station. The Tigers are 12-1 and 5-0 in games decided by seven points or less.

"We've been tuning in," Evans said. "We've really been focusing and not losing sight of what we've been doing. Pretty much we've been treating every game like it's the last, like a state championship. That's pretty much what we've been doing."

McGill-Toolen is 12-1 as well, and has already knocked off two teams in Auburn's region in the playoffs--Opelika and Smiths Station.

Auburn beat the Yellow Jackets 29-28 last season.

"They're a tough team," Evans said. "They play four quarters. Once we go down there we've got to play. We've got to minimize our mistakes, not be scared and let her rip."

The last month has been an exciting time for Evans with his team's run through the playoffs as well as his recruitment by several top schools around the nation. He has already taken his official visit to UCLA, visited Alabama unofficially for its game against LSU and also Auburn for its win over Georgia.

Evans will be in Jordan-Hare Stadium for the Iron Bowl on Saturday between two of the top five teams in the country.

"It's been humbling," Evans noted. "I'm just excited we've got a chance to go into fourth round. Also to be able to see top notch games like that with good teams going neck. I'm pretty sure there's going to be another one coming up with Auburn and Alabama. That's going to be a pretty good game. I'm just happy. I'm just taking everything slow."

As far as the big picture, Evans isn't tipping his hand between UCLA, Georgia, Alabama and Auburn.

"Right now the schools are still even," he said. "What I'm going to do is, after the season I'm going to start to take my officials right after the season. I don't know which one I'm going to hit up first. Right after the season I'm going to hit up somebody."

He added that he's just looking for a good time on Saturday at Auburn.

"They've pretty much showed me everything that they need to show me," Evans said of Auburn. "(Gus) Malzahn told me that he was going to get his edge back, and that's pretty much what he did. He turned this whole team around in just one season. That's something remarkable. They've proven me that they can play against the best. If they lose or win (in the Iron Bowl) it doesn't matter to me."

As far as a score prediction, Evans played the part of a recruit still considering both schools playing in the Iron Bowl.

"I really don't know," he said. "I really can't tell you since Auburn has something rolling right now. They've been winning. And Alabama, against stiff competition, for some reason they always find a way to win. I really can't give you a score."


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