It was the mistakes that did G.W. Carver in against Auburn on Friday night.
A muffed punt inside the 10-yard line, the sack and fumble on its own 16, the interception for a touchdown, the penalties …
No matter what the offense tried to do, Carver just couldn’t get it going.
“When you lose a game like this, especially in this region, now we’ve got to approach every game like it’s a playoff,” Carver coach Billy Gresham said. “We can’t take any game for granted, can’t take any practice for granted. Everything now is a must-win situation.”
The Wolverines’ 38-20 loss to Auburn puts them down to fourth in Class 6A, Region 3. Coming off a big win last week where he threw six touchdown passes, Carver quarterback Mike McKenny said the team was riding the momentum coming into the homecoming game that was televised on CSS.
“We came out slow and flat, you can’t do that against a tough opponent like Auburn, and they just took advantage of it,” McKenny said. “They have a great defensive line, and we just couldn’t keep up with them.”
McKenny went 12-for-23 passing for 199 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He was on the ground almost every time he dropped back. McKenny was sacked five times, fumbling twice. One fumble gave Auburn the ball inside the red zone, which ended up breaking the game open.
The Carver defense played well most of the game. A fumbled punt at the 5-yard line, McKenny’s fumble and a fluke 68-yard tipped pass put the defense in tough situations, and gave Auburn a 21-0 lead at the half.
“It’s just a learning situation,” Carver linebacker Shaun Hamilton said. “We didn’t come out fast against a great team, and the result showed for itself. We came out kind of late, guys made a few mistakes and we’ve just got to try to bounce back from it. It’s going to be a teaching moment for all of our young guys.”
Carver running back Javante Davidson finished with 15 carries for 155 yards, including a 42-yard touchdown run as time expired. Wide receiver Landy Capetillo had five catches for 138 yard and a touchdown.
Auburn linebacker Rashaan Evans shined for the Tigers. Rated as the No. 8 linebacker prospect in the country by ESPN, Evans had two sacks and two forced fumbles. Evans also served as the goal-line back, gaining 13 yards on five carries with three touchdowns.
Carver (4-2, 2-2) has a chance to get back on its winning ways against Lee on Friday.
“Our goal every year is to win a state championship, but in order to reach that goal, you’ve got to get to the playoffs,” Gresham said. “We’ve got to go back to the drawing board, and we’ve got to treat everything — coaches and players — like a playoff situation. We’ve got Lee here next week, another tough game for us, and we have to be ready to play.”