Warriors Go For 4th Straight Title in Rematch with Auburn
by Seth Hagan
Two years after their classic finish in the 2020 title game, the Warriors will meet the Tigers of
Auburn High School again—this time within the confines of Jordan-Hare Stadium. Thompson
scored 11 points in the final 18 seconds to capture the school’s third state championship, but the
teams headed into this rematch look very different from then.
Following the departure of head coach Adam Winegarden, Auburn High School brought in Keith
Etheridge who brought a wealth of experience and a winning culture with him to The Plains.
Etheridge is a five-time state champion leading Leeds High School to four championships
(2008, 2010, 2014, 2015) then taking Oxford to the 6A championship in 2019. Since arriving in
Auburn, he has compiled a 22-4 record including a semifinals appearance in 2021.
Auburn avenged their 28-17 loss to Central Phenix City last year with a 14-13 comeback victory
over the Red Devils this year with a touchdown on their final drive. Etheridge returns with senior
quarterback Clyde Pittman who broke the school record last year with 29 touchdown passes
and is having another solid season leading into Wednesday’s championship.
Mark Freeman and the Warriors return to the championship stage for the fifth year in a row
behind a menacing defense and a run game that is rounding into form at the right time. Last
year’s legendary defense, helmed by Broyles Award winner Shawn Defoor, forced a state
record 91 punts and accrued 150 tackles for loss, but this year’s unit has already accounted for
more sacks, interceptions and forced turnovers than in 2021.
Senior defensive lineman and Clemson commit Peter Woods has passed 20 tackles for loss for
the second consecutive season while sophomore defensive back Anquon Fegans’ nine
interceptions leads all of Class 7A. Six different players on defense have ten or more tackles for
The Warriors also pack a powerful punch at running back with junior AJ Green and sophomore
Michael Dujon. Green eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards for the year against Vestavia in the
quarterfinals and has added up 17 total touchdowns. Dujon has over 600 total yards to his name
scoring nine touchdowns, including a 107 yard, two touchdown performance against Hoover in
the state semifinals.
Eighth grade quarterback Trent Seaborn has been clean and efficient from the pocket since
taking on the job in the first round of the playoffs. Seaborn has completed 72% of his passes in
three playoff games and his 342 passing yards against Huntsville were the most for a
Thompson QB in the playoffs since Taulia Tagovailoa in 2017.
Mark Freeman will be looking for the tenth state title in his career. It would tie him with Bobby
Carr as the only coaches in Alabama high school football history with ten championships.
The Class 7A state championship will kick off at Jordan-Hare Stadium Wednesday, Nov 30 at 7