Athens defense

Athens senior lineman Reed Allen (55) goes for the tackle on Fairfield’s Jaylyn Daniels (4) in a 48-0 victory last week in Fairfield.

FAIRFIELD – Friday’s nights contest in Fairfield was domination at the hands of the Athens Hornets.

The Hornets scored 40-points plus again last week in a 48-0 victory over the Fairfield Eagles at Eagle Stadium.

Athens lost to Fairfield, 45-25, last year in Fairfield. This was the first time in the last four meetings the Hornets have defeated the Eagles.

They return to action Friday for homecoming against the Wills Point Tigers. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. with the unveiling of a brand new video board and score board at Bruce Field.

Here is the Sideline Reviewfrom last Friday between the Hornets and the Eagles.

– The last time the Hornets started a season at 3-0 was the 2013 season when the Hornets went 10-1 losing in the first round to Chapel Hill. The Hornets are getting better each week and coach Zac Harrell is happy with what he is seeing.

“I am really proud of them and we have to keep getting better. I told them after the game that when we get into district, the competition will pick up a little bit,” Athens coach Zac Harrell said. “I will be honest with you, we want to win them all and be better every week but being 10-0 doesn’t really mean that much because we want to be getting better every week.”

– The defense recorded it’s first shutout of the year with a solid performance all during the night. It looks like coordinator Flint Bigham has his unit clicking on all cylinders in the first three weeks of the year. The Hornets had three more takeaways this week. Athens had fumble recoveries from Gage Friedrich, Caleb Bennett, and Drew Horn.

“I feel like we are getting better every week. I feel like we played really well on defense,” Harrell said. “I have been saying all year that that is the strength of our team and they showed that.”

– The Hornets offense continues to put up 40-plus point outings with 48 against Fairfield. The offense had 36 points at the half and scores of 13, 18, 30, 19, 33 and 39 yard plays.

“Anytime you can score 40 points is good. We are pleased and now offensively there are still a lot of things that we have to improve on,” Harrell said. “We busted some areas, but I told them that is a sign of a good football team when you don’t play your best and still win pretty convincingly. I am pleased with the offense and we have to keep getting better.”

– Senior running back Nathan Sims is starting to find that gear that fans have seen for the last three seasons. He finished with 16 carries for 164 yards and two touchdowns scoring from 18 and 39 yards. Ty Arroyo went 7 of 16 for 105 yards and three touchdowns.

– Special teams had a mix of good and bad this week as Cesar Martinez went 3-for-7 on extra points and had a 25-yard field goal. Cedric Lowe had 5 punt returns for 145 yards and a 50-yard punt return for a TD. Arroyo averaged 38 yards per punt, while Jarred Duff had one punt for 55 yards.

“PAT is an area we have got to sure up because that will be seen on film,” Harrell said. “We got to do some work and get that fixed but we have to improve on that.”

– In case you missed it, Harrell was talking about his team climbing throughout the season like a roller coaster, which he said he thought of the Texas Giant and right as you see the sign, you beginning rolling down the hill.

“We feel like we are continuing to improve. Again, we have talked to the kids about the best teams and the best programs get better every week,” Harrell said. “It is like a roller coaster, and they continue to climb by about Week 10, that is when you start to reach the top of that roller coaster. When you get to Week 10, you are rolling down that hill. The key is to not peak too early, and some programs when you peak in Week 2 or 3 that is not a good sign. We feel like we have gotten better and we hope we continue to do that.”

For a preview of Friday’s Athens and Wills Point homecoming contest, check out the Thursday printed edition of the Athens Daily Review.

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