After picking up a first round playoff win over Fairhope last weekend, the Auburn High football team will attempt to take another step toward a state title when Lee-Montgomery rolls into town for a rematch on Friday in the second round of the Class 7A playoffs at Duck Samford Stadium.
The Tigers picked up a close 21-17 win over the Generals in September at Cramton Bowl.
"It’s just a whole new ball game," said Auburn High coach Adam Winegarden. "We understand how physical the game was the first time we played. We know it’s going to be a tough football game, for sure. But it’s about us playing the best football we can play. We’ve got a lot of respect for them, but we know it’s going to be a really good football game."
Quarterback Tyrone Franklin and running back Tadarrian Murray lead a Generals offense that's averaging about 23 points a game.
"They’re very physical in all phases. They have a lot of really good athletes," Winegarden said. "On offense, they have a quarterback that can really stretch the ball down the field, but can also run. They have one of the better running backs we’ve seen all season, if not the best running back. We know it’s going to be a tough game for us on defense, offense and the kicking game."
The Auburn offense will welcome back senior quarterback Griffin Speaks, who missed the Tigers' last two games.
Freshman quarterback Patrick McGlon stepped in Griffin's absence. His play drew praise from Winegarden, who said he was "proud of the way Pat played."
"He did a fantastic job for our team. He showed a lot of maturity for a young kid stepping in to play quarterback," he said. "Griffin brings more experience to the table, and he’s a senior football player for us. It will be good for our team to go back to the lineup we had originally in the season."
The Tigers will also have the benefit of playing on their home field instead of hitting the road.
"The past few years, we’ve traveled to Mobile, so the way the playoffs work, you’re either on a bus ride for four hours or you’re at home, so we’d rather be at home for sure," Winegarden said.
The Tigers and Generals will meet at 7 p.m. Friday at Duck Samford Stadium.