By Josh Bean | For the AHSAA
AUBURN – Auburn High School quarterback Brooke Hallman summed up the Tigers’ game plan for Wednesday’s AHSAA second Girls’ Flag Football championship game against Oxford with a simple sentence.
“We came out to come get them,” she said.
The Tigers’ actions definitely matched Hallman’s words.
Auburn’s defense intercepted two first-quarter passes, and the offense turned both turnovers into quick. Hallman threw four touchdown passes – all in the first half – as the Tigers (16-1) earned a 26-6 victory over Oxford (16-4) at Auburn University’s Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Tigers led 26-0 at halftime.
Oxford coach Wes Brooks said he underestimated how much noise both schools’ enthusiastic bands would generate, which led to some communication miscues for his Yellow Jackets.
Auburn earned its first AHSAA flag championship and the first football state title of any kind in school history, as Hallman finished 19-of-29 passing for 224 yards. Kristianna Ware caught two TD passes and finished with seven receptions for 81 yards. She added two sacks and six tackles for loss on defense.
“It will take a moment for it all to sink in, but I am so proud of this program and thankful to be a part of it,” Auburn coach Alison Link said. The Tigers’ Aaliyah Parker and Madison Allen intercepted passes to end Oxford’s first two drives.
Syriah Daniels, who finished with three catches for 76 yards, caught a short pass from Hallman and raced 70 yards for the game’s first touchdown. Hallman threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Ware on the final play of the first quarter, and Hallman’s conversion pass to Daniels made it 13-0.
Auburn truly took control by scoring two touchdowns in the final two minutes of the second quarter. Hallman connected with Taite Pearson on an 11-yard TD with 1:43 to go before halftime. She hit Allen with the conversion pass to make it 20-0. Then, with 17 seconds to go before halftime, Hallman threw a 5-yard TD pass to Ware.
Oxford’s Xai Whitfield caught 12 passes for 143 yards and a 49-yard touchdown from Gabrielle Lindsey late in the fourth quarter. She also intercepted two passes on defense. Lindsey finished 15-of-29 passing for 155 yards.
Lanyaha Bowens led the Auburn defense with eight tackles. Oxford’s Reygan White led the Yellow Jackets with seven tackles.
The Girls’ Flag Championship officially opened the 27th annual Super 7 State Football Championship. The Auburn boys were set to play Thompson in the Class 7A championship game Wednesday night.
The Class 3A state championship game featuring defending Class 3A state champion Piedmont (12-2) and Saint James (12-2) opens Thursday’s Super 7 competition at 11 a.m. The Class 1A finals – Leroy (12-1) vs. Pickens County (11-3) kick off at 3 p.m., and the Class 5A championship game between Charles Henderson (12-1) and Ramsay (12-2) closes out Thursday’s action at 7 p.m. Classes 4A, 2A and 6A play Friday.
All games are being televised by the AHSAA TV Network over Alabama Public Television and are also being live streamed over the NFHS Network subscriber-based om-line platform. Vince Earley of WOTM TV is serving as executive producer.
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