AUBURN, Mass. – The team that Auburn knocked off in the Super Bowl last year is the same team that’s standing in Auburn’s way in the Division 3 football semifinal at Wachusett Regional High School on Tuesday at 5:15 p.m.
The Rockets, #1 seed and 11-0, face Hudson High School, #4 seed and 5-6, at 1401 Main St. in Holden with a Super Bowl berth up for grabs. Auburn, which defeated Hudson 7-0 in last year’s Super Bowl, is looking to win its fifth-straight championship this season.
The winner of Tuesday’s matchup will play for the Super Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 1, facing the winner of the Groton-Dunstable/Tantasqua semifinal. But the Rockets are focusing on Tuesday before even thinking about another title on Saturday.
“They’ve been there, they understand the pressure and they understand the fact that if we don’t bring a great effort, then we’re going home,” Auburn head coach Jeff Cormier said about his players. “They’ve been in that kind of atmosphere before, and they’ve been in that kind of atmosphere during the regular season when we’ve played some real quality football teams.
“We have two more games if we want to say we had an undefeated season,” Cormier added. “Right now, we’re 11-0, but what we don’t want to be is 11-1.”
The Rockets have been downright dominant all season long, scoring 30 points or more in nine games, pitching four shut outs and allowing more than eight points in only one contest.
Auburn, which is riding a 19-game winning streak, has outscored opponents 386 to 63 in the 11 games this season; to put that in perspective, Auburn is averaging 35.1 points per game and allowing 5.7 points per game. The Rockets are coming off an impressive 42-8 thrashing over Oxford on Thanksgiving.
On the other side, Hudson struggled toward the end of the season, losing three out of its final four games. Hudson has allowed 28 points or more in five games and is coming off a 28-8 Thanksgiving loss to Marlborough, another 5-6 squad.
Auburn will be heavily favored on Tuesday against Hudson, but the players will not be taking the opponent lightly.
“There’s a lot of pressure on us to keep playing the same way we’ve played all year,” said safety Tim Bryan. “But we’re going to work hard, and we’ll be ready on Tuesday night. We want to keep on playing. We’ve had a lot of fun this season.”