Three turnovers on three consecutive plays ultimately goes the Bears' way in a 19-17 victory over the Trojans to kick off the season.
Tony Davis isn’t sure how much of fall camp’s smoky air caused his Tahoma Bears’ first-week football haze Thursday night.
He is just glad his team got out of it all with a win.
Surviving a wild fourth quarter, the Bears outlasted Auburn 19-17 at Auburn Memorial Stadium as high-school football kicked off across the state.
Twice, the Trojans were in good shape to line up a potential game-winning field goal in the final two minutes, only to be undone by costly turnovers.
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In Aaron Chantler’s coaching debut, the Trojans played the final minutes with backup quarterback Keegan Yu, who took over for starter Calvin Liulamaga (leg).
And Yu converted passes of 39 and 20 yards to Aadam Nasheed to get Auburn to the Bears’ 29-yard line with 2:05 to go.
That is when the craziness began.
On Auburn’s next play, Lu tried pushing it down the field again. This time, his pass was picked off near the goal line by Tahoma’s Carson Ringhiser.
But on Tahoma’s next play, quarterback Shay Lowery fumbled the snap, and Miguel Quintana recovered for the Trojans at the Tahoma 26.
But Yu gave it right back to the Bears when he bobbled the handoff, and Michael Gasper pounced on it for the third turnover on three consecutive plays with 1:39 remaining.
“You know, it was tough,” Chantler said. “(Yu) is a young guy in his first varsity action. … We want to empower the kids, and he learned some things tonight.”
Tahoma was forced to punt with 45 seconds remaining, but the Trojans went backward on their final series. Yu was sacked by Aidan Sotelo on fourth down.
Besides the three turnovers, the two teams combined for 16 penalties.
“I think everyone is going through the same stuff,” Davis said. “There is a lot to clean up, but I am really proud of the way we battled through it all.”
After Auburn grabbed a 17-13 lead on Ronna Brown’s 2-yard run with 10:23 to go, the Bears turned to their workhorse running back Max Repenn one more time.
Repenn ripped off a 58-yard run that set up Tahoma’s go-ahead score, a Jake Trost 1-yard touchdown run at the 8:53 mark.
Repenn finished with a career-high 167 yards on 19 carries and added five receptions for 51 yards.
“It was nice to have that offensive line,” he said.
But he spent much of the final quarter on the sideline watching the crazy action.
“Our defense,” Repenn said, “played a huge part in this win.”