AUBURN – Missed opportunities and the classic adage of “so close but yet so far” wrote the story of the first Bulldogs loss of the season, as Auburn fell to Lincoln Lutheran Friday 19-16.
The halftime scoreboard didn’t reflect how closely the first two quarters were played, with the Warriors hitting the locker room up 13-0. The Bulldogs’ Brody Darnell lit up the night in the punt-return and kickoff-return game and consistently set up in his team with outstanding field position. Auburn penetrated inside the 10-yard line three times in the first half, twice being turned away on 4th down and missing a field goal right at the 2nd quarter gun. Five penalties and two turnovers also hurt the Bulldog cause.
But Auburn came roaring back in the third quarter on the legs of QB Drew Dixon, who finished with 193 total yards and two touchdowns. Add in an intentional-grounding penalty committed by Lincoln Lutheran QB Josh Duitsman in his own end zone, and the Bulldogs found themselves leading 16-13 heading into the final period.
A Warrior drive fueled by a variation of the “wildcat” formation stole the lead back in the fourth quarter with a Colby Bliss 12-yard score. But Auburn had time for one last hurrah. Dixon’s passing and running drove the ball from the Auburn 35 to the Lutheran 5-yard line with 12 seconds remaining. A Drew Dixon desperation dive for the goal-line on 3rd down came up four yards short, and the Bulldogs ran out of time before they could get off one last play.
Auburn falls to 6-1 and is home on Friday, October 12 to take on Lincoln Christian. Lincoln Lutheran improves to 5-2 and hosts Falls City next Friday.