The Athens Hornets went perfect during the non-district schedule with a 62-21 victory over the Wills Point Tigers during Homecoming at Bruce Field.
“We want to be really efficient on offense and expect to be one of the best offenses around,” Athens coach Zac Harrell said. “It was a good night and we left some opportunities out there. 62 points is good but we still need to execute on offense.”
Athens (4-0) returns to action Friday as they open District 9-4A, Division I play at home against the Chapel Hill Bulldogs. The Senior Night kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Bruce Field in the final game of a two-game home stand.
The Bulldogs come in with a record of 3-1 following a 55-14 loss to Center last week.
“There is still a lot of things we have to fix going forward,” Harrell said. “It is great to be 4-0 right now. It matters now and that is what we told the guys. Everyone is 0-0 right now and nothing in the past matters.”
Here is the Sideline Reviewfrom last Friday between the Hornets and the Tigers.
– HIGH POWERED OFFENSE: The Hornets put together 501 yards of total offense against Wills Point as Nathan Sims had 10 carries for 122 yards and four TD’s. Ty Arroyo was 7-of-19 for 179 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Jarred Duff and Dre Thompson each had 82 yards receiving and had touchdown receptions in the win.
– A KEY LOSS: On Caleb Bennett’s 32-yard run early in the game, he went down with an injury and may be out for an extended amount of time. Harrell mentioned Bennett is a captain on the team and now the Hornets need to find another player to help in the secondary and at receiver.
“It is a huge problem,” Harrell said. “He is a captain on this team and a leader for the program. It is a huge loss for our team, and we got to have somebody step up and try to fill that spot.”
– BIG TIME DEFENSE: Even with the 375 yards of offense giving up to Wills Point and 21 points, the Hornets had big plays once again from Connor Clay with 16 tackles, one sack and one quarterback pressure. Drew Horn had 10 tackles and one fumble recovery and Derek Killingsworth recorded 12 tackles, two sacks and two quarterback pressures. The Hornets need to keep up the strong play as district happens this week.
– SPECIAL TEAMS: The special teams unit under coach Chayse Rives is making an impact this season as Horn had a fumble recovery for a touchdown eight seconds into the game. This is the second straight game for Horn to have a fumble recovery on special teams. Zay Hull had an 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Kicker Cesar Martinez went 8-of-9 on extra points.
– A SPECIAL GROUP: People may think the Hornets did not play anyone in the first four weeks of the season, but the Hornets are buying into the coaching staff week in and week out. Harrell said they are playing the way he wants to see them play heading into district play.
“I think we did what we were supposed to do,” the coach said. “We took care of business each week, and we want to be 1-0 each week. We want to be better than we were the week before and I think we have done that. It is something that I am proud of with the guys.”
– IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Harrell said even with the scoring differential the way it has been in non-district, the Hornets still have areas to work on for the district campaign starting this week.
“Scores can be misleading. There are a lot of areas that we need to make huge improvements in. We must fix these going into district because if we don’t get better then we are not going to be where we need to be going into district.”
For a preview of Friday’s Athens and Chapel Hill contest, check out the Thursday printed edition of the Athens Daily Review.