It’s been long enough since the Auburn High School football team won its first three games that head coach Gordon Elliott can’t recall for sure the last time it happened — and he’s been coaching the team for the last 15 years .
After Thursday’s 41-7 victory over Decatur at Federal Way Memorial Stadium, he should have less trouble remembering.
The Trojans, who won three games all of last season as a 3A school, are now 3-0.
“For a young team, it’s good,” Elliott said of his team’s early-season success. “You want to start out good. It’s also a little scary because young kids start thinking they’re invincible. I think we started out today, because we were 2-0, and our guys were a little bit complacent and not playing as well as I would’ve like.”
The last time Auburn started 3-0 was in 2010, when the Trojans opened the season with four straight victories and went on to the 4A quarterfinals before falling to Curtis.
Auburn started slow, but its defense quickly helped the offense get going. The Trojans forced and recovered a fumble on Decatur’s first offensive possession. With the ball on the Gators’ 21-yard line to start, the Trojans got to the end zone in four plays. Senior quarter Gavin Strojan capped the short drive with a 7-yard touchdown run up the middle to give his team a 7-0 lead.
Strojan added a second touchdown in the third quarter on a 3-yard run.
“He’s a good athlete,” Elliott said of Strojan. “He’s a starter on the basketball team the last three years, and he does our kicking. In our offense, the quarterback has to be multifaceted. He’s got to be able to run the ball, and he scored a couple of touchdowns today running the ball.”
The Trojans’ running game was balanced. No one had more than 80 yards on the ground and 10 different players had carries, five of whom scored touchdowns.
“That’s our style,” Elliott said. “We don’t give it to one guy 30 times, we’d give it to 30 guys one time if we could. We kind of spread it around.”
The 80 yards on the ground belonged to junior Joseph Fagan, who did it on nine carries. He also scored a touchdown.
“He’s a really good football player,” Elliott said. “We want to get him the ball some. We’re not going to give it to him 50 times, but he’s a guy we need to get the football to because he can make things happen.”
Fagan gave a lot of the credit for his success to EJ Brown, the 6-foot, 250-pound senior fullback the does a lot of the blocking for him.
“That’s the only reason I get my yards is because of him,” Fagan said. “It’s the blocking, I just have the ball in my hand.”
The defense took care of the rest. The Trojans’ held Decatur to 93 yards of total offense, 83 of which came on the ground. Auburn had allowed just 22 yards of offense until Decatur’s final offensive drive, which ended in a 50-yard touchdown run by senior Deantre Scott.
“We started out hot,” said Fagan, who also plays defensive back. “They’ve been working hard all week and it just finally paid off.”
Auburn 7 7 21 6 - 41
Decatur 0 0 0 7 - 7
A – Gavin Strojan 7 run (Gavin Strojan kick)
A – Gavin Strojan 3 run (Gavin Strojan kick)
A – Joseph Fagan 7 run (Gavin Strojan kick)
A – E.J. Brown 1 run (Gavin Strojan kick)
A – Ben Freeman 3 run (Gavin Strojan kick)
A – Hope Tuamoheloa 1 run (kick failed)
D – Deantre Scott 50 run (Andrew Comito kick)
Rushing – A: J. Fagan: 9-80-1. D: D. Scott 4-54-1.
Passing – A: G. Strojan 1-4-2-1. D: J. Gilbert 1-2-10-0.
Receiving – A: J. Fagan 1-2. D: T. Misailegalu 1-10.
Records – Auburn 1-0 league, 3-0 overall. Decatur 0-1, 0-3.