By John Anderson

Most readers know I rarely leave Auburn for a game before tournament time, but Friday was an exception. Northbridge, the defending state champion, has a solid football program, and I knew this game could be both interesting and a good gauge for the rest of the season. It did not disappoint as Auburn won 18-10 in overtime.

Steve Saucier put the first points on the board in the second quarter and Jadon Latino followed with the extra point. With the clock running down towards halftime, Northbridge threw in a touchdown with an extra point to tie the game 7-7.

Coleson Hammond rushes in to celebrate with Joe Hopper after a game ending interception in overtime. ©2016 John R. Anderson

Coleson Hammond rushes in to celebrate with Joe Hopper after a game ending interception in overtime. ©2016 John R. Anderson

In the fourth, and after an Auburn interception, the visitors couldn’t get across the goal line, but Latino kicked a field goal to get a 10-7 lead. The
Rams answered with an interception of their own and a long drive that included 30 yards on Auburn penalties. Their field goal with seconds left tied the game and sent it into overtime.

Auburn had first possession and sophomore running back Manny Rosario showed his best with three carries to get a touchdown and then running in the two-point conversion for an 18-0 lead. On the Rams’ second down, they threw a pass that junior Joe Hopper intercepted near the goal line. He made a good run towards the other end of the field before being tackled, but it was too late for Northbridge. They lost their third of the season, and Auburn won its sixth.

As it stands now, Auburn is in great position to get into the tournament with only two games left. They are tied with Grafton in SWCL A at 6-0, and these two teams will clash on the 28th in what will be the final regular season games for both. There is no other D3 team in Central Mass with a record anywhere close to 6-0, and both Grafton and Auburn will likely meet with 7-0 records.

Auburn faces Southbridge at home on Friday night and will travel to Grafton for that final game. Way to go Rockets!
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