Athens Review, Athens, Texas

November 9, 2013

FRIDAY NIGHT FLASHBACK: Athens reaches perfection with 56-13 win over Brownsboro

Jayson Larson/Special to the Review
The Athens Review

Athens — The chants have been brewing since August when preseason workouts began. You can really trace them back further than that, to the end of last season, which disappointingly ended in the first round of the playoffs.

So when the Athens Hornets gathered in front of their home stands and hoisted the golden District 15-3A championship trophy high into the air, the celebratory call was belted out loud and proud: “10-0! 10-0! 10-0!”

The Hornets (10-0, 5-0 in 15-3A) achieved perfection – going undefeated during the regular season for the first time in school history – with a 56-13 win over the Brownsboro Bears Friday night at Bruce Field on Senior Night. On a chilly and historic night on their home turf, the Hornets can now boast of having won the school’s first undefeated district championship since 1959, when future University of Texas star Duke Carlisle ruled the hive and helped the Hornets to nine consecutive wins.

The ’59 season was also one of only three times an Athens varsity football team has won 10 games or more. With one more victory, the Hornets will tie the school record for most wins in a season at 11, set by 2010’s regional finalist team.

That win will have to come against their first-round playoff opponent, the speedy Chapel Hill Bulldogs. Athens and Chapel Hill (6-4, 3rd in District 16-3A) will meet Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium in Tyler.

“We’re going to enjoy this win until Monday,” said Athens head coach Paul Essary, who has guided his team to the playoffs in four of the past five seasons. “Our coaches are going to enjoy this until noon Saturday, and then we’re going to get ready for Chapel Hill.”

Said senior Chris Jefferson, who has committed to Southern Methodist University: “Finally being able to say we’re 10-0 is a big relief. But we’ve got to get this out of our minds and get ready for the playoffs.”

Athens sophomore fullback Logan Fuller put his name in the school record books for the second consecutive week. Fuller ran for four touchdowns to run his season total to 25, giving him one more than Kendall Sanders’ 2010 record for most touchdowns in a single season. The record came on a 36-yard run in the third quarter, and he had tied Sanders’ mark a little more than two minutes prior on a two-yard blast.

Last week, Fuller claimed the top spot on the Hornets’ list for most rushing yards in a single season. Fuller ran for 215 more Friday night, leaving his total at 1,540.

Junior tailback Devin Hall joined his backfield mate in the 1,000-yard rushing category after turning in a mammoth 30-carry, 252-yard performance. Hall enters next week’s playoff game with 1,180 yards and 13 touchdowns.

The one-two punch of Fuller and Hall – along with a 72-yard punt return for a touchdown by sophomore Travon Fuller, helped the Hornets out to a 28-0 lead at the half and a 42-0 advantage midway through the third quarter. Earlier in the game, Travon Fuller picked off his seventh pass of the season, which leads the team. Nikell Roberts also had an interception.

Brownsboro (2-8, 0-5) broke the Hornets’ scoring streak 24 seconds after Fuller’s record-breaking 36-yard score, using a 55-yard touchdown run by Quintus Lee to get on the scoreboard. The Bears’ other score came via a 32-yard touchdown pass from Jared Bragdon to Caleb Seale.

Essary said he was proud of how his team has handled adversity this season, especially over the last couple of weeks. The Hornets played Friday night’s game without senior quarterback Anthony Sanders and senior linebacker Adam Stallings, who were held out for disciplinary reasons. Kicker David Cedillo then went out with an injury during the game, forcing the Hornets to go for two on their final three scores with no backup kicker.

“I’m so proud of these guys for fighting through the adversity we’ve had,” Essary said. “We’ve had a lot of players step up and play positions they may not have been used to playing.

“This is great. Going 10-0 doesn’t happen every day,” he added. “It’s exciting for the team, it’s exciting for the coaches and it’s exciting for the community.”

Athens 56, Brownsboro 13

 

Brownsboro  0  0  7  6 -- 13

Athens  7  21  22  6 -- 56

 

First Quarter

A – Logan Fuller 9 run (David Cedillo kick), 5:24

Second Quarter

A – L. Fuller 1 run (Cedillo kick), 9:17

A – Travon Fuller 72 punt return (Cedillo kick), 6:57

A – Devin Hall 6 run (Cedillo kick), 3:47

Third Quarter

A – L. Fuller 2 run (Hall run), 8:47

A – L. Fuller 36 run (run fails), 6:26

B – Quintus Lee 55 run (Darius Elder kick), 6:04

A – Hall 4 run (Hall run), 3:51

Fourth Quarter

B – Jared Bragdon 32 pass to Caleb Seale (kick fails), 11:48

A – Kynden Crist 8 run (run fails), 7:47

 

A  M

First downs 13 29

Rush-yards  25-104  69-524

Passing yards 151  0

C-A-I 18-29-2  0-1-0

Fumbles-lost  1-0  2-1

Punts-avg. 6-36.6  1-34.0

Penalties-yards  3-30  8-50

 

Individual

Rushing — B: Quintus Lee 6-72; Mitchell Penny 4-9; Michail Cartwright 10-38; Jared Bragdon 2-9; team 3-(-24). A: Chad Head 1-1; Logan Fuller 23-215; Devin Hall 30-252; Ladarius Jordan 7-46; Dylan Hart 1-4; Kynden Crist 2-11; Allen Jones 2-6; Tayron Hall 1-6; team 2-(-17).

Passing – B: Jared Bragdon 18-29-151-2. A: Chad Head 0-1-0-0.

Receiving — B: Quintus Lee 1-(-4); Mitchell Penny 1-0; Will Bailey 3-28; DeAndre Cook 6-55; Xavier Richardson 3-20; Tanner Wilson 1-3; Caleb Seale 2-43; Chris Davis 1-6. A: none.