Wildcats enter region play at Auburn

Mykel Johnson (22) bulldozes his way to a score for the Wildcats against Charles Henderson last week.

Enterprise faces a road test against the Class 7A No. 6 Auburn Tigers (1-1) today to begin region play.

Enterprise (1-1) will look to continue to build momentum and improve under first-year head coach Rick Darlington.

Last year, the Wildcats were stifled by Auburn in every phase of the game. In that game, Enterprise fell 35-0 and managed just 30 yards and seven first downs on offense.

For Enterprise, however, this is a new year and a new team focused on developing, improving and believing they can win.

The development was immediately obvious last week against Charles Henderson as the Wildcats rebounded from an opening game loss to North Miami Beach, which Darlington addressed early last week.

“We’ve got to get better as coaches and players, obviously,” Darlington said. “I hate to lose, but I do love the fact that those kids in that locker room (after losing to North Miami Beach) -- they were torn up that they didn’t win. There were a lot of tears and there was some soul searching.”

After that loss, Enterprise came out firing against the Trojans and the Wildcats racked up 587 yards (379 rushing) and gave up 267 total yards (190 passing) in Enterprise’s first win since Aug. 31, 2018.

Offensively, Enterprise had three players -- Jackson Darlington, Mykel Johnson and Josh McCray -- take over the game, with contributions from receivers Terrell Hudson and Jared Smith, returning from an offseason ACL injury. Most notably, Enterprise installed several spread formations alongside the single-wing offense Darlington brought to the Wildcats -- which kept the Trojans off balance for most of the game. Expect the Wildcats’ offense to continue to evolve throughout the season.

Defensively, the Wildcats have not allowed over 100 yards rushing in a game this season. That level of play will need to continue against a run-oriented Auburn team. Last week Enterprise’s pass defense also improved allowing only 190 yards and getting two picks.

Auburn is coming off a 21-13 loss to Opelika last week, where the Tigers gave up 21 points in the second half.

Enterprise has not defeated Auburn at Duck Samford Stadium since 2006.

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