The Athens Review
PALESTINE — The Athens Hornets will wake up Saturday morning with a two-week break before their next game. The time off will be much-welcomed.
The Hornets fell to 1-4 Friday night after suffering a 49-0 loss to the Palestine Wildcats (3-2) in the non-district finale for both teams. Athens suffered its most lopsided loss in three years and was shutout for the first time since a 46-0 loss to Mabank on Sept. 4, 2009.
The Hornets will be looking to put a lot of pieces to their puzzle together before they open District 15-3A play at home against Canton on October 15. The offense struggled, managing less than 200 total yards for the second time this season. The defense, meanwhile, gave up 498 total yards a week after allowing Rusk to pile up 603 yards a week ago.
In other words, Athens head coach Paul Essary's 40th game on the sideline at Athens High School wasn't necessarily one to remember — at least fondly.
The Wildcats scored four times in the second quarter to take a 35-0 halftime lead, and two more trips to the end zone in the third quarter put the game far out of reach. A balanced Wildcat attack saw running back Ben Luckett rush just four times for 111 yards and three touchdowns, while quarterback Gee Clark was 12 of 17 for 193 yards with three touchdowns through the air.
Hornet quarterback Anthony Sanders led the team on the ground with 51 yards rushing on seven carries, and he also threw for 65 yards. George Hutson also saw time at quarterback, going 1 of 3 for 13 yards -- with the reception coming via a diving catch by sophomore Devin Hall late in the game.
Hall finished with 38 rushing yards on 13 carries.
Tyler Trussell, Chris Prox and Hutson each had a sack.
Palestine 49, Athens 0
Athens 0 0 0 0 — 0
Palestine 7 28 14 0 — 49
P – Darrius Stephens 37 run (Lucas Valencia kick), 1:06
P – Ben Luckett 44 run (Valencia kick), 11:45
P – Luckett 2 run (Timmy Klauser kick), 8:42
P – Jordan Anthony 57 pass from Gee Clark (Valencia kick), 2:56
P – Shelton Watson 2 pass from Clark (Valencia kick), 10:55
P – Luckett 52 run (Valencia kick), 3:21
First downs 10 24
Rush-yards 38-105 30-305
Passing yards 78 193
C-A-I 5-16-0 12-17-0
Fumbles-lost 3-1 1-0
Punts-avg. 7-42.0 4-37.0
Penalties-yards 6-52 11-100
Rushing — A: Devin Hall 13-38; Raheem Miller 11-17; Anthony Sanders 7-51; Ladarius Jordan 5-14; team 2-(-15). P: Ben Luckett 4-111; Jadarius Beasley 3-43; Gee Clark 3-39; Darrius Stephens 5-63; Juan Yarbrough 8-55; Paul Barksdale 1-22; Billy James 2-1; team 4-(-29).
Passing — A: George Hutson 1-2-0-13; Anthony Sanders 4-14-0-65. P: Gee Clark 12-17-0-193.
Receiving — A: K.J. Cumby 1-21; Devin Hall 2-22; Travon Fuller 1-10; Ladarius Jordan 1-25. P: Jordan Anthony 5-115; Tony Butler 2-13; Paul Barksdale 1-11; Darrius Stephens 1-0; Kenneth Weaver 1-43; Sheldon Watson 2-11.