An Alabama High School Won The 7A State Title With A Blocked Punt And Onside Kick In The Final Minute

Thompson High School and Auburn High School met on Wednesday night in Tuscaloosa for the Alabama 7A state title game, and while this typically wouldn’t be national news, the way the game ended was one of the wildest finishes in any football game this season.

Auburn led 28-19 with a minute to play after taking some knees at midfield and electing to punt the ball away to leave Thompson with a full field to go down and no timeouts to work with. However, disaster struck as Thompson was able to block the punt and return it for a touchdown (with the punter taking too much time before letting the kick go), making it a two-point game and opening the door for a sensational comeback, provided they could get an onside kick — which they naturally executed to perfection. From there, they got a pair of pass interference penalties to put them in field goal range, where they hit the game winner at the buzzer to win 29-28 and pick up a state championship.

It is an incredible sequence of special teams plays for a high school team, as all phases executed perfectly from the punt block unit to the onside kick team to the field goal unit in the span of one minute. For Auburn, it’s a horrific way to lose a game that, once you start taking knees, you feel has to be firmly in your hands. It’s a reminder that a game (at least one within a couple of scores) is never over until the final whistle and that you have to execute all the way to the end, because if you don’t the other team might and steal away a state title in the process.