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Thompson wins 7A state title in 29-28 thriller

Dennis Victory

Tuscaloosa, AL – The Thompson Warriors (14-0) came back to repeat as 7A state champions in unbelievable fashion 29-28 over the Auburn Tigers Wednesday night at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

The Warriors tailed the 6th ranked Tigers by nine with 0:18 seconds remaining, after the Tigers kneeled on the ball three times, Thompson’s Corbin Williams blocked the Tiger punt retuning it 38 yards into the endzone. Trailing by two the Warriors recovered an onside kick setting up a last second field goal attempt.  

Hardy, the game’s Most Valuable Player split the uprights from 35 yards out sealing the Warrior comeback and giving the Shelby County powerhouse their second consecutive state title and third blue map in program history.

Despite being sidelined after the first half Thompson starting quarterback Connor Harrell completed 9-of-14 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns.  Army commit Tre Roberson took over under center for the last two quarters he fished the game with 84 yards thought the air connecting on 11-of-18 throws and an interception.  On the receiving end Roberson snagged a second quarter reception returning it 57 yards for a score.  Nathan Crockett lead the Warriors on the ground with 47 yards on 12 carries. 

Auburn signal caller Matthew Caldwell finished the night 9-of-17 through the air for 88 yards and a pair of scores while running for 85 yards on 11 attempts including a 44 yard third quarter scoring scamper.  J.T. Rogers added 62 yards and touchdown on 24 carries.  Bryson Clague was Caldwell’s favorite target hauling in four receptions for 22 yards.  

The victory gives Thompson head coach Mark Freeman his eight state title and his second since taking over the Warrior program in 2015.  Before Freeman’s arrival in Alabaster the now nationally ranked Warriors had posted a 10-40 record over the previous five seasons under three different head coaches.

2020 AHSAA 7A State Title Game 
Bryant-Denny Stadium | Tuscaloosa, AL 

1. Thompson Warriors 29

6. Auburn Tigers 28

No. 1 ranked Thompson repeats as 7A state champs!  They win it 29-28 on a last second 35 yard fieldgoal. 

Auburn’s punt is blocked and returned for a Thompson TD. It’s now 28-26 Auburn with 18 seconds left to play.  The ball was blocked and returned by Thompson’s Corbin Williams.

The Warriors pull within two scores as Peppins punches it in for a Thompson Touchdown with 8:43 to play in the 4th. The two-point conversion is no good.  Auburn leads 28-19

Touchdown Tigers.  The extra point extends their lead over Thompson to 28-13 with 5:47 left in the 3rd quarter

Touchdown Auburn. The QB keeper goes for 45 yards to give Auburn a 21-13 lead with 9:16 left in the 3rd quarter


Halftime Score 

6. Auburn 14
1. Thompson 13

First half stat leaders

Auburn – Matthew Caldwell | 7-of-13 | 63 yards | 2 TD
Thompson – Conner Harrell | 9-of-14 | 164 yards | 2 TD

Auburn – Matthew Caldwell | 4 for 53 yards 
Thompson – Nathan Crockett | 11 for 48 yards

Auburn – Bryson Clague | 3 for 16 yards
Thompson – Ryan Peppins | 4 for 28 | 1 TD

Touchdown Auburn. Kamarius Hill catches the fade pass from Matthew Caldwell in the endzone as Auburn takes the lead back from Thompson 14-13 with 3:38 left in the 1st half

Thompson strikes back. Harrell’s pass to Tre Roberson goes for a score as Thompson takes a 13-7 lead in the 2nd quarter.

Caldwell’s pass is complete for an Auburn touchdown. PAT is good. Auburn takes the lead 7-6 with 6:33 left in the first half.

Thompson draws first blood – #15 Harrells pass is complete to #2 Peppins for a touchdown (PAT no good)