There were some changes around Memorial Field Friday night as AHS opened up its 2013 campaign.  A new press box.  A new marching band field show.  21 new AHS starters.  But the Rocket’s winning ways did not change, as they upended Chicopee Comp 17-7 in a hard fought game.

The newly completed press box was dedicated during a pre-game ribbon cutting ceremony recognizing the many people who helped make the project a reality.  Shortly after, the retooled AHS Marching Band took the field to perform the national anthem.

Once the pregame festivities ended, the teams got down to business with Chicopee Comp winning the coin toss, and deferring to the second half.  Junior Mark Wright returned the opening kickoff 24 yards to the 50 yard line, giving Auburn excellent field position.  Freshman Steve Saucier made his debut, handing the ball to Wright who plowed ahead for 13 yards.  Auburn continued to pound the ball downfield until the drive stalled with a fourth and two at the Chicopee 18.  A false start penalty pushed the Rockets back into a fourth and 7, but head coach Jeff Cormier decided to go for it.

Saucier took the snap and cooly tossed an eight yard pass to senior Matt Morrissey for the first down.  Two plays later, Wright followed a T.J. Medlin block into the end zone for a 7-0 Auburn lead.

Chicopee would answer early in the second quarter.  A well executed drive highlighted by a 27 yard option play was capped by a 4 yard TD pass from QB Mike Whitsett to senior wide receiver Mike Bombard.  Those would be Chicopee’s only points of the night, however.

Auburn’s second touchdown came off a 15 yard Mark Wright run up the right sideline.  Auburn kicker Ryan Mulcahy finished up the scoring by driving a 27 yard field goal though the uprights to give the Rockets a 17-7 lead.

The vaunted Rockets offense continued to dominate, making a number of key stops throughout the game.  In the first half, Wright intercepted Whitsett at the Rocket’s 21 yard line to end a solid Chicopee drive.  Then with just over 2 minutes remaining, senior Adam Gustafson all but sealed the Auburn victory when he intercepted another Whitsett pass at the Rockets 30.

Steve Saucier took a knee the final two plays of the game, and with that Auburn was 1-0.

Auburn travels to Hudson High School this Thursday at 7pm to take on the Hawks.