Auburn earns 4A semifinal berth with 21-7 win over Mead | SLIDESHOW

Auburn senior running back Brendan Greer carries the ball against Mead. - Rachel Ciampi/Auburn Reporter
Auburn senior running back Brendan Greer carries the ball against Mead.
— image credit: Rachel Ciampi/Auburn Reporter

The Auburn Trojans punched their ticket to the Tacoma Dome this past Saturday with a 21-7 win over Mead in the Washington State 4A quarterfinals at Auburn Memorial Stadium.

The win earns Auburn a spot in the 4A semifinals and a game against No.4 Bellarmine Prep (11-1) 7:30 p.m. this Saturday at the Tacoma Dome.

The unranked Trojans (10-2) came into the contest against the No. 5 ranked Panthers (10-2), hot on the heels of 20-7 road win against Eastmont. Against Mead, Auburn again relied on the tried and true formula of stifling defense and a punishing ground game to earn the victory.

"We played really good defense and ran the ball well," Elliott said. "It's our style and the way we have to play to win. (Mead) played physical, and we were able to play physical also and finish. It was a good win."

The Trojans kicked off scoring in the first quarter with junior running back Keio Buchanan running one in from the 4-yard line. Buchanan finished the game with 72 yards rushing on nine carries.

Auburn ran the score up to 14-0 in the second quarter with senior Harold Lee finding the end zone on a 27-yard touchdown run.

In the second half Mead scored their only points of the game with Davian Barlow scoring on a 6-yard TD.

The Trojans closed out scoring with a 12-yard touchdown run by senior Demontra McNealy.

Senior Darnell Hagans led Auburn with 81-yards on seven carries.

Now the Trojans prepare for a return to the Tacoma Dome, the first time the team has played under the wooden roof since 2006.

"It's always special (to make the semifinals), but you just have to keep going a game at a time," Elliott said.

Even more so when you finished a paltry 4-6 and missed the postseason the year before.

"Nobody would have thought we'd be where we're at judging from last year or losing our first game (to Kentwood 31-7) this season. The key is once you get into the top eight or sixteen, you face better teams but you become a better team for having won against them. The rankings don't matter once you get here. If you don't play well on game night, you go home."

Auburn takes on Bellarmine Prep at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Tacoma Dome in the 4A semifinals with the Lions as the home team.

The winner will play either No. 1 Skyline (12-0) or No. 3 Camas (12-0) in the state 4A title game at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Tacoma Dome.

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