All right, dear readers, here is my number one attended Auburn football game—and it should come as no surprise that is an Iron Bowl game.

#1: November 22nd, 1997 - The Iron Bowl - Auburn 18, Alabama 17

This game had me on my feet the entire time. A boy of 12, looking onto that familiar field with a familiar foe. Not only was this game huge for bragging rights, but an Auburn victory would send the Tigers to their first ever SEC championship game berth.

Alabama would get the ball first, but they did nothing on their opening possession. Auburn would take their opening possession and drive it down the field to the Alabama nine-yard line before being stopped in their tracks. Jaret Holmes would kick the 27-yard field goal to put Auburn ahead 3-0 early in the first quarter.

Alabama and Auburn exhanged punts for most of the first quarter until Auburn had possession at the 2:23 mark. Auburn would take the drive to the Alabama 20 before being held up again. Jaret Holmes came on and kicked a 37-yard field goal to put Auburn on top 6-0, and they would take that lead to the end of the first quarter.

Alabama and Auburn again exchanged punts twice in the second quarter before Alabama drove down the field. The big play in their first scoring series was a 42-yard pass from Freddie Kitchens to Quincy Jackson to the Auburn 14. A touchdown pass to Calvin Hall would put Bama on the board and in the lead 7-6 with 6:24 left in the first half.

Auburn would turn the ball over twice in their next two possesions. The first turnnover was a pass that was intercepted by Marcus Spencer after Auburn just entered into Alabama territory.

The second turnover was a fumble that was recovered by Trevis Smith. Alabama would score on the second turnover with a 32-yard field goal by Chris Kemp. Alabama would take the 10-6 lead into halftime.

Auburn started off the second half with the football but did nothing with the possession. Alabama, on its first possession of the half, would drive down the field behind Freddie Kitchens's 20-yard pass to Dennis Riddle and would score on a 12-yard rush by Shaun Alexander to take the lead 17-6 in the third quarter.

I was not too thrilled at this point, to say the least, but this game taught me to never give up on the team.

Auburn answered on its next possession with two huge passes from Dameyune Craig. The first pass was a 41-yard bomb to Kevin McLeod which got Auburn deep into Alabama territory. The next pass was a 22-yard pass to Karsten Bailey to get inside the Alabama 10.

Rusty Williams rushed for seven yards on the next play, getting Auburn to the Alabama two-yard line. Then Fred Beasley pounded his way in on two rushes to score the touchdown for Auburn. Auburn failed to convert the two-point conversion, so the score remained 17-12.

The fourth quarter began, and Alabama had the football. They would drive to the Auburn 21-yard line and miss a 38-yard field goal attempt. Auburn gained a little momentum off the missed field goal, driving down to the Alabama 14 before Jaret Holmes kicked another field goal to get Auburn within two points, 17-15.

Alabama would do nothing on its next possession. Auburn had the ball with 6:18 left in the game but could not get a drive going. They punted with 2:55 left, and Alabama was going to play keep away.

Shaun Alexander would run on four consecutive plays, including a first down run, to set up at the Tide at the Alabama 36-yard line. On 3rd-and-8, Freddie Kitchens completed a pass to Ed Scissum. It would be short-lived, however, as saftey Martavious Houston nailed Scissum and caused a fumble. Quinton Reese would recover the fumble at the Alabama 33-yard line with 0:42 left in the game.

Rusty Williams rushed for four yards on the first play of the drive, and Hicks Poor caught a seven-yard pass from Craig to get it to the Alabama 22-yard line. Dameyune Craig would throw an incomplete pass and spike the ball to stop the clock with 0:21 left.

I was nervous as all get out. I covered my eyes with my hands and prayed that Jaret would make the kick. Auburn's field goal unit got out onto the field and readied themselves for their spot in Auburn history. Then Alabama called timeout.

This was a good thing for me, as I gathered the courage to uncover my eyes and look onto the field. Alabama would call timeout again, trying to ice Holmes. I looked up at my father and asked him, "Do you think he'll get it?" My dad looked down on me and just smiled. "This is a chip shot for him. He'll make it."

Auburn set up again at the 22-yard line. The ball was snapped, the place was down, and Jaret Holmes sent the football down the heart of the uprights to make it 18-17.

Alabama would get the ball back and return it 25 yards from the Auburn 20, in addition to a 15-yard face mask penalty, to get it to the Auburn 40-yard line. A. J. Diaz attempted a 57-yard field goal but missed it.

Auburn won 18-17 and clinched their spot in the SEC championship game. To me, there was, is, and never will be a greater feeling than defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide in that fashion.

It was also my first time in rolling Toomer's Corner after an Auburn victory. My father thought it best to roll Toomer's after an Alabama victory. It takes on a very special meaning that stays near and dear to my heart even to this day.

WAR EAGLE!!

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