Nathan Sims

Brownsboro’s Aiden Hardin tries to tackle Athens senior running back Nathan Sims in a 42-28 victory for the Hornets Friday at Bruce Field.

ATHENS – The 19th overall meeting in the history of the series went the way of the Athens Hornets at Bruce Field Friday.

The Hornets (1-0) opened the season with a 42-28 victory to keep the Highway 31 championship trophy at Bruce Field for another year.

In the third meeting of the Highway 31 championship, Athens now holds a 2-1 lead. The two teams have met the past five seasons, and Athens is 4-1 in those meetings.

It is great, and any win is great in this profession,” Athens coach Zac Harrell said. “We are going to enjoy this win and that is what I told the guys is every win we get we are going to celebrate. We are going to get ready to work for Waxahachie Life this week.”

Athens sophomore quarterback Ty Arroyo had a big night for the Hornets with four of their touchdowns on runs of 37, 9, 46 and 54 yards. He also had a 10-yard touchdown pass to Cedric Lowe with 11:18 in the third quarter.

Ty is a really special athlete,” Harrell said. “We have known that since we have gotten here, and he made some huge plays. He still has a lot to work on and missed some reads. He made up for those and his speed is pretty fast.”

Arroyo finished the night 7-of-12 for 56 yards passing with one touchdown and one interception. He had 11 carries for 160 yards and four touchdowns.

Brownsboro held a 14-7 lead at the half and trailed 28-21 with 1:45 remaining in the third quarter.

Those touchdowns came on a 9-yard pass from Jaxyn Rogers to Kyle Nichols and a 33-yard run by Shayden Jennings.

I was proud of the way that we responded. It did not go great in the first half like we wanted to,” Harrell said. “They controlled the clock and I think we had 10 offensive plays. It would have been real easy for us to come out in the second half and fold but we didn’t. We came out and responded and made some huge plays, so I am super proud of the guys for not folding.”

Nichols paced Brownsboro in the first half, rushing for 37 yards and catching two touchdowns, one for 5 yards and one for 9.

The first touchdown came off of a Jaxyn Rogers pass with 5:34 remaining in the second quarter. His final receiving touchdown came with 43 seconds remaining in the first half from Rogers.

Brownsboro’s final touchdown came on a 2-yard run by Ja’tavien Sessions with 1:33 remaining.

The Hornets’ other touchdown came on a 4-yard run by Nathan Sims with 9:11 remaining for a 35-21 lead.

Sims finished with six carries for 30 yards and one touchdown, while Jecorey Roberts had five carries for 25 yards.

Lowe had two receptions for 26 yards and a touchdown to lead the Athens receivers.

Defensively, Connor Clay had 18 tackles and one fumble recovery, while Derek Killingsworth had 11 tackles and Drew Horn had 10 tackles and one caused fumble.

The Hornets’ travels to the Waxahachie LifeMustangs, while Brownsboro travels to the Fairfield Eagles. Both games are scheduled to kickoff at 7:30 p.m.

Waxahachie Life lost it’s opener to Godley 50-27 last week in the season opener.

In last year’s meeting, Athens lost in district play to the Mustangs, 55-35, at Waxahachie Life. Harrell said they have some revenge for this years game.

We are really looking forward to that game and it is a great challenge,” Harrell said. “Those guys got us last year, and that is a game we felt like we could win. We are really looking forward to trying to get some revenge and get better. We need to improve and get ready for that game.”

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