Sumner spoils Auburn Mountainview opener, 28-13 | Football
By SHAWN SKAGER
Auburn Reporter Sports Reporter
September 4, 2011 · Updated 10:33 PM
Five turnovers proved to much of an obstacle for the Auburn Mountainview Lions to overcome last night against the Sumner Spartans at Sunset Chev Stadium.
The Lions fell 28-13 to the Spartans in the season opener.
Despite the loss and costly turnovers, Auburn Mountainview showed flashes of the team they could be under first year head coach Jared Gervais.
"Last year we couldn't do anything against these guys (the Lions lost 42-3 to Sumner in the 2010 opener) and this year we were able to move the ball," Gervais said. "The main thing is, although it sucks to lose, these guys need to learn that even when things go bad you need to keep fighting. That's kind of been the hallmark of our program, when things go bad everything falls apart for us. And things went bad for us."
And they went bad early. In the opening moments of the game the Lions fumbled in their own red zone, with Spartan senior linebacker Jon Mayer returning the ball 70 yards for a touchdown.
"We were able to fight through that and come back and make some good plays," Gervais said.
Sumner closed out the first quarter with senior Brendon Baker punching it for a touchdown from 2 yards out. A two-point conversion brought the score to 14-0.
Auburn Mountainview responded in the second quarter with junior quarterback Domenic Rockey hooking up with senior Victor Korchemniy for an 60-yard touchdown pass.
Rockey finished the game with 279 yards and two touchdowns on 15-of-32 passing.
Sumner closed out scoring in the first half with Aaron Clark connecting with Tyler Fischlin for a 12-yard touchdown pass.
The Lions would add another touchdown in the second half.
With the Lions trailing by 8 points in the fourth quarter, the Spartans quashed any hope of a comeback by falling on a errant pitch at Auburn Mountainview's 9-yard line.
Baker added a 5-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to ice the win for the Spartans.
After the game Gervais impressed on his team that there was nothing for his young squad to hang their heads about.
"We're just trying to make sure they know how much we (the coaching staff) really cares about them and that we're not mad at them," Gervais said. "In the past they've gotten down on themselves when they've dropped the ball and they just needed to know it didn't matter."
"I think our passing game worked well, except for the drops," he said. "I think the offense worked pretty good, despite having five starters on the sidelines hurt at the end of the game."
After the game Sumner's coach Keith Ross had praise for Gervais' first game as head coach.
"I told him he did a great job, we noticed improvement they played harder," Ross said. "He's going to get that program going."
"For a coach to say you've improved, when you turned the ball over five times, I'm pretty happy with that comment," Gervais said.
The Lions will host Eatonville at 7 p.m. next Friday at Auburn Memorial Stadium.Contact Auburn Reporter Sports Reporter Shawn Skager at firstname.lastname@example.org or (253) 833-0218, ext. 5054.