The Talan Alfrey experience was too much for the Auburn High School football team.
The Auburn Mountainview junior ran for 123 yards and three touchdowns, threw for 86 yards, punted, returned punts, caught kickoffs, starred defensively and — as if that wasn’t enough — he even caught one of his own passes and ran 26 yards.
Alfrey, whom his teammates call “The Bearded One,” led the Lions to a 42-21 win on their homecoming night at Auburn Memorial Stadium. It was AMV’s fourth consecutive victory and the Trojans’ first loss of the season.
“To win a homecoming game, beat our cross-town rival, be on top of the league — that’s fun,” Alfrey said.
Auburn Mountainview (4-2, 4-0 4A North Puget Sound League) is now tied atop the league standings in the Olympic division alongside Todd Beamer (5-1, 4-0).
Alfrey didn’t start playing quarterback until the second game of the season, when starter Sui Daniels injured his collarbone. Coach Jared Gervais converted the Lions’ district triple-jump champion from wide receiver to quarterback.
Gervais saw Alfrey show indecisiveness in AMV’s 33-15 win over Jefferson last week, but saw his quarterback’s confidence improve this week.
“We simplified it for him and had him working on just the reads in the run game and making sure he was feeling more confident with that,” Gervais said. “And that really showed this week — just that quicker decision making and confidence.”
Alfrey broke the game open with a 61-yard touchdown run to open the second half. He broke four tackles, weaving from the right hash mark back to the left on his way to the end zone.
His next score, a two-yard run later in the third quarter, gave the Lions a 42-7 lead.
“(Alfrey’s) a great athlete,” Auburn coach Gordy Elliott said. “He’s one of the best athletes in the league. You have to keep him corralled and the couple of times we didn’t keep him corralled he got out and made some big plays.”
Auburn Mountainview got the ball to start the game after recovering a pooch kick on the opening kickoff. Alfrey capped the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run.
It seemed to set the tone.
The Lions almost recovered on the following kickoff, but their defense got a quick stop to set up Bitner Wilson’s 37-yard touchdown run.
Wilson had 12 carries for 81 yards and two touchdowns.
It went from bad to worse for Auburn.
Gavin Strojan’s pass down the left sideline was intercepted by AMV’s Campbell Friend, who ran 61 yards for a TD to give the Lions a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter.
“Their offense is going to score a lot of points anyway,” Elliott said. “And to give them one on a golden platter doesn’t help.”
Auburn (5-1, 3-1) scored its first touchdown with 0.8 seconds remaining in the first half when Strojan hit Darius Hatcher for a 71-yard touchdown pass.
So what was different this week for the Trojans?
“We were playing a lot better team than we were the first five games,” Elliott said. “Everyone we play from now on is at that caliber. You hope the guys see that and adjust to the added physicality and speed.”
TJ Cotterill: @TJCotterill
AMV – Talan Alfrey 3 run (Carlos Huizar kick)
AMV – Bitner Wilson 37 run (Huizar kick)
AMV – Campbell Friend 61 interception return (Huizar kick)
AMV – Wilson 6 run (Huizar kick)
A – Darius Hatcher 71 pass from Gavin Strojan (Strojan kick)
AMV – Alfrey 61 run (Huizar kick)
AMV – Alfrey 2 run (Huizar kick)
A – E.J. Brown 2 run (Strojan kick)
A – Brown 20 run (Strojan kick)
RUSHING — Auburn: E.J. Brown 7-63; Nate Johnson 7-41; Darius Hatcher 4-23; Gavin Strojan 5-18; Ben Freeman 4-14; Cole Washburn 4-1. Auburn Mountainview: Talan Alfrey 20-123; Bitner Wilson 12-81; Jared Currie 5-27.
PASSING — Auburn: Gavin Strojan 7-11-1-121. Auburn Mountainview: Talan Alfrey 7-8-0-86.
RECEIVING — Auburn: Darius Hatcher 4-108; Nate Johnson 2-8; E.J. Brown 1-5. Auburn Mountainview: Jared Currie 2-35; Alex McBee 3-22; Talan Alfrey 1-26.