AUBURN, Mass. – The Auburn High School football team hasn’t been challenged a lot this season, but in the beginning of Tuesday’s semifinal playoff game, the team responded in a big way.
The Rockets had a slow start in the elimination contest but exploded in the final 2 ½ quarters, beating Hudson High School, 49-14, in snowy and slippery conditions at Wachusett Regional High School in Holden. Auburn, now 12-0 on the season with a 20-game winning streak, advanced to Saturday’s Super Bowl against Tantasqua to compete for its fifth-straight Super Bowl win. Auburn beat Tantasqua, 30-7, in October.
“We knew they were going to come hard and fast, and we just tried to adjust,” said Auburn fullback Bob Sivret. “We were fortunate we were able to. They’re a tough team, and we just did our best to adjust, and we did.”
Hudson’s offense was able to move the ball on Auburn better than most teams all season, including in its first drive of the game. The Hawks made it to the edge of Auburn’s red zone on the game’s first possession before Auburn defensive back Tyler Maher intercepted a fourth-down pass and the Rockets took over.
Then after running back Tyler Desjardins had a 40-yard burst to get into Hudson’s red zone, he finished up the drive with a 2-yard touchdown. Running back Mark Wright followed with the 2-point conversion as the Rockets went ahead 8-0 with one minute left in the first quarter.
On its next drive, Hudson again moved the ball deep into Auburn territory, and this time the Hawks cashed in. They scored a 7-yard passing touchdown, but their 2-point conversion was no good. However, it was a victory for Hudson to get points on the board, cutting the deficit to 8-6 with 6:24 left in the half.
But it was all Auburn after that. Sivret exploded up the middle for a 40-yard score with five minutes left in the half. Desjardins was stopped on the 2-point conversion as Auburn led 14-6.
Then on the final possession before halftime, Auburn moved the ball 92 yards in less than two minutes, which needed some extra help from Hudson. Quarterback Drew Goodrich had an incomplete pass on the final play of the half, but the Hawks were called for roughing the passer.
The Rockets took advantage with the extra play as Desjardins sprinted for a 10-yard score. The 2-point conversion was no good, but nonetheless, Auburn went ahead 20-6 at halftime.
Then the Rockets soared out of the half with Desjardins scoring his third touchdown of the night. The stud running back coasted for a 51-yard score, and Wright followed with the 2-point conversion as Auburn went up 28-6 with 8:44 left in the third quarter.
Auburn kept piling it on a couple minutes later when Wright found the end zone with a 14-yard score. The 2-point try was no good, but Auburn extended its lead to 34-6.
The Hawks never gave up, however, as they drove all the way down the field on their next drive, scoring a 1-yard touchdown and 2-point conversion to cut the deficit to 34-14 with 4:20 left in the third.
But yet again, the Rockets responded right away with their sixth score of the game. Wright cruised down the right sideline for a 57-yard touchdown, followed by Desjardins converting the 2-point attempt with four minutes left in the third to go up 42-14.
Then after Auburn pulled its starters, running back Andrew Markvenas put an exclamation point on top of the victory with a 50-yard score. Kicker Steve St. Jean made the extra point to make the final score 49-14.