Auburn, Ala.--Brad Lester was one happy Tiger walking off the field at Jordan-Hare Stadium Saturday night. Despite coming up just inches short of a touchdown and two yards shy of the century mark, the junior says that getting a win over arch rival Alabama is reward enough as far as he's concerned.
"It was amazing," Lester says. "We had a lot of confidence coming into this game. We knew it was going to come down to the end and the team that pushed through at the end was going to win. We did that for the sixth year in a row."
Facing a defense that put seven and eight men in the box consistently, Auburn took a page from Coach Herman Boone of ‘Remember the Titans' fame on Saturday and stuck with the run and made it work. In the end Auburn made it pay off with 165 yards, something Lester says the offense takes pride in.
"All week we said we wanted to establish the run," Lester says. "That's what we've been trying to do each week. We stuck with it in the second half and it paid off for us.
"We knew they had a real good defense and we had a lot of respect for them," he adds. "We just came out and fought harder than they did tonight."
With the football near Alabama's goal line and needing a touchdown for a 10-point lead, Lester got the ball and was ruled to have scored a touchdown only to see the call overturned by replay. The second time around quarterback Brandon Cox snuck the ball over to put the Tigers up 17-7, which was just fine with Lester.
"I was still excited," Lester says. "When Brandon got the touchdown on the next play I was happy we got the points. That's what it's all about, just winning the game."
The running game took center stage once again on Auburn's final possession. Recovering an onside kick by Alabama, the Tigers needed one first down to run out the clock. This time the ball went to Lester on fourth and one. The junior made that a smart move with a 12-yard gain to cement Auburn's sixth victory in a row over Alabama.
"Coach leaned over before we went back out there and said ‘get this first down and we win the game and we're off tomorrow and most of next week'," Lester says. "I just went in there and followed my block.
"It feels great," Lester adds. "We're real excited about it. We're going to keep working hard and work for number seven next year."