Athens Middle School kicked off the 2019 football season off by hosting the Rusk Eagles Thursday night.
The 8th grade B team game was a defensive juggernaut which ended with a 0-0 tie.
Defensively, the Hornets showed that they would swarm to the football. The defensive front held a choke-hold on the Eagle running attack, while defensive backs Cesar Ornelas and Jakhi Arroyo made timely pass break ups that prevented the Eagles from capitalizing through the air. Kash Cumby did much of the heavy lifting offensively for the Hornets.
With a valiant effort from the offensive line, the Hornets moved the ball up and down the field, but could not find pay dirt.
With under two minutes to play, the Hornets were afforded one last opportunity to find the end zone. Starting on their own end of the field, the Hornets found themselves once again knocking on the door of the end zone in three plays.
The Hornets advanced the ball to the three yard line, only to find the clock expire.
Meanwhile, the A team opened with a decisive 36-0 win over Rusk.
The Hornets controlled all phases of the game from the opening kickoff until the final buzzer. The Hornet defensive unit was impressive, and demonstrated outstanding play from all positions. The Hornets proved they were not shy when it came to playing physically.
The defense caused two turnovers which allowed the offensive to capitalize on good field position. Offensively, the Hornets were led by quarterback Jaxon Stiles who showed he had an exceptional command of the offense.
This Hornet unit is not lacking in the offensive weapons category. Jorian Ray caught 3 passes for 2 touchdowns and a two point conversion. Gage Friedrich was impressive in the run game and finished the game by throwing a touchdown pass as the quarterback.