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Auburn prepares for postseason after routing rival Auburn Riverside
It's back to the postseason for Auburn.
The Trojans (7-1 South Puget Sound League North 4A, 7-2 overall), who missed out on the postseason last year, host the 4-5 Olympia Bears at 7 p.m. Saturday at Auburn Memorial Stadium in the first round of the district playoffs.
"We've had a pretty good year," said Auburn coach Gordon Elliott. "We've progressively got better all season. We didn't play well against Federal Way (43-0 loss two weeks ago) but we got that all straightened up last week (against Auburn Riverside)."
Last Friday the Trojans secured their postseason berth – and second-place in the SPSL North – by exploding for 264 rushing yards in a 42-14 league victory over Auburn Riverside, despite playing without several key starters. Junior quarterback Brier Atkinson and senior receiver Harold Lee were injured in the Federal Way game.
Atkinson and Lee are expected back in action Saturday, Elliott said.
"They should both be back," Elliott said. "Brier (back injury) will be back for sure, and Harold (concussion) just has a couple more things to check out, and he should be cleared."
Against the Ravens, running back Kieo Buchanan led the Trojans on the ground with 122 yards and two TDs on seven carries. All told, the Trojans had 12 rushers touch the ball in the game, including Sam Lindsay who carried 11 times for 48 yards and a touchdown.
Darnell Hagans and Brandon Greer also ran for touchdowns.
The Trojans added 81 passing yards, bringing their total offense to 345 yards for the night.
Nick Kaatz was 4-of-6 passing for 44 yards and a touchdown and Lindsay was 1-of-2 for 37 yards.
Hagans had one TD reception for 33 yards, and TJ Muao had one reception for 33 yards.
For the Ravens (1-7, 1-8), quarterback Kevin Thompson finished with 185 yards passing and a touchdown on 19-of-36 passing. Thompson also added 35 yards on the ground with a touchdown.
Michael Robinson led the way for the Ravens' receivers with five catches for 34 yards. Drew Wallen added four receptions for 46 yards, with Gavin Hettinger collecting four catches for 40 yards. Cameron Clark finished with three catches for 42 yards and a touchdown.
Auburn Riverside closed out its season hosting SPSL South 4A Bethel (1-7, 2-7) on Thursday night at Auburn Memorial Stadium.
For the Trojans, it's a loser-out contest against the Bears.
"It's the playoffs, and in the playoffs you have to do everything right," Elliott said.
"I didn't know what to expect at the beginning of the year. We had a mix of returning guys and guys we needed to step up for us to do well," he said. "After last year, we're just kind of happy to still be in it. Now we've just got to try and get better for this week."