Wetumpka vs. Auburn

Coach Tim Carter has been at the helm of Auburn High School for three years. In his first year, 2006, his team went 7-5. In the second year, 2007, the team advanced by one more win to go 8-4. This year the Tigers took a big leap and they sit at a lofty 11-0 going into the second round of the playoffs.

You have to go back to 1923 to find another undefeated team, but that year they only had six wins.

The Tigers have never won the state championship, but to Coach Carter's bunch this is looking just about as good a time as any to do just that.

Auburn's junior quarterback Calvin Jenkins (6-1, 180) has been hampered by an ankle injury, and he and his team struggled in the first half last week against Sidney Lanier (4-7). The Tigers committed two critical turnovers which saw them fall behind 14-0, in the first round playoff matchup.

Auburn senior Jake Schueller (5-10, 190) came into the game for Jenkins in the first half after it was clear he just wasn't ready to play on that ankle.

The Tigers passed the adversity test after making some costly mistakes. The Tigers worked to even the score 14-all by halftime. They went on to win the game 35-22 with a huge effort by their running back Latrell Jenkins (5-6, 185). The senior rushed for 218 yards on 21 carries.

We asked Coach Carter this week if he ever dreamed he would be in this position at this point in the season.

"Probably not," Carter answered candidly. "After all the players we lost last year and just having so many new faces. I think they were quality players. We just had so many pieces of the puzzle to fit into place. I just didn't know really what to expect to be honest with you."

Auburn has carried a lot of momentum throughout the season.

"I think this team has a lot of balance," Carter answered. "We are able to run and throw offensively. Defensively, we've got a lot of kids that have contributed. We've had some kids really step up. We have had really good play out of our defensive line, and our linebackers and our secondary has matured as the season has gone along."

Senior defensive back Kendal Hutchinson (5-9, 175) intercepted the Poets' quarterback last week to stem the tide and setup the Tigers first touchdown of the night.

Wetumpka (9-2) is next for Auburn at home.

"They have a really good football team," Carter said. "Their only losses were at Pelham and Prattville. I think they have got a lot of athleticism and a tremendous amount of speed."

"Coach (Chad) Anderson does a good job on offense and defense. Their schemes are really good. It gives us a pretty big challenge. It is going to take a total effort to win."

The good news for Auburn is that Wetumpka will try to pass the test of another tough road game.

Carter also touched on the quarterback situation for his own team.

"Calvin (Jenkins) has had a great year. He has probably accounted for about 2,000 yards in total offense, but he rolled his ankle against Opelika. The last two ballgames Jake Schueller has led us to victory. Jake is a senior, and he had started for us a little bit in his junior year until Calvin stepped in."

While Schueller had a big effort on Friday with 93 yards rushing on eight carries and two touchdowns and passing for 60 yards with a touchdown, it can never hurt to have your starting quarterback on good footing.

"We need to get Calving back healthy," Carter said. "His maturity has had a lot to do with our success this year. It has helped us win some close football games."

Game time 7:00 PM Friday at Duck Samford Stadium in Auburn, Alabama.

Internet radio broadcast at

Support Alabama high school coverage by subscribing to for as little as $7.95 a month which includes all premium content across the network and all video.


(return to front page here)

Preps AL Top Stories