After making easy work of Wilcox Central 48-0 last weekend, the Auburn High football team will enter into a much-tougher test on Friday when it travels to face Opelika in the annual showdown between the two rivals.
One positive aspect of playing an over-matched opponent in the season-opener was giving the team's younger players an opportunity to play.
"It was good to get everybody in the game and let them experience Friday night and get a chance to play in front of their families,' said AHS head coach Adam Winegarden. "We have a lot of kids that are coming from ninth grade football, so to get a chance to go through game week and see how game week plays out in preparation."
Patrick McGlon got the start in the season-opener and threw a touchdown in limited play.
"I thought he did a great job in the game on Friday and executed well," said Winegarden. "He threw a touchdown, but all quarterbacks threw a touchdown during the game, so I thought all three of them did a good job."
Winegarden said he thought the defense also played well, although he added that it was tough to get a good gauge on where they stand because the game was a mismatch. That won't be the case this weekend against the Bulldogs.
"I think we’ll get a better gauge of where we are defensively this week against a really, really good Opelika team," he said. "At the end of the day we expect the same thing every week — we expect them to play four quarters, to have a teachable spirit in the game and to give their best effort."
Winegarden said the Bulldogs have a good football team and are well-coached, while also noting they have dynamic skill players.
"There are really no weaknesses," he said. "They’re good in every phase of the game, so it’s going to test us in every phase of the game to play our best."
The battle between the Tigers and Bulldogs is set to kickoff at 7 p.m. Friday in Opelika.