Athens Can Tie Kaufman For Share Of Second Place In 8-4A D-I With Win Friday
Kaufman Lions (3-4, 2-0)
Athens Hornets (4-3, 1-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Bruce Field, Athens
- Kaufman: Craig Barker
- Athens: Paul Essary
- Kaufman: defeated Wills Point, 42-21
- Athens: defeated Mabank, 70-7
- Kaufman: vs. Mabank, Oct. 31
- Athens: at Crandall, Oct. 31
- QB Jackson Fritz, Sr., 6-0, 205 (48 of 98, 715 yards, 3 TDs, 5 INTs)
- WR Jefferson Fritz, Soph., (14 catches, 301 yards, 2 TDs)
- ATH Desmond Williams, Jr., 5-6, 155 (6 total TDs)
- RB Logan Fuller, Jr., 5-8, 210 (185 carries, 1,299 yards, 10 TDs)
- RB Devin Hall, Sr., 5-9, 175 (117 carries, 702 yards, 9 TDs)
- ATH Travon Fuller, Jr. (598 total yards, 9 TDs, 11 tackles, 1 INT, 1 fumble recovery; committed to Texas A&M)
- LB Tim Tanner, Sr., 6-1, 180 (25 tackles, 3 INTs, 2 sacks, 1 FF)
- MLB Noah Bush, Soph., 6-2, 215 (51 tackles)
- ATH Rashad Miller, Jr., (40 tackles, 3 FFs, 1 sack)
Just the facts
- Proximity makes Athens and Kaufman frequent opponents. The two teams have played six times in the last 10 seasons.
- Kaufman has a 5-1 advantage against Athens dating back to 2004, but Hornets won last year's non-district meeting 31-25.
- Logan Fuller took control of Athens' career rushing record two weeks ago and upped his total yardage to 1,299 last week in the win against Mabank. He'll likely break 1,300 yards this season on his first carry Friday.
- Logan Fuller, Devin Hall and Travon Fuller have combined for 2,457 rushing yards and 28 touchdowns on the ground this season. Athens has only attempted 48 passes all season.
- Led by quarterback Jackson Fritz, Kaufman defeated Gilmer in July's Division II State 7-on-7 Tournament championship bracket.
- Kaufman has rallied back from a four-game losing streak to start the year with three consecutive wins, including two district victories for a share of first place in District 8-4A Division I with Van.
- Kaufman has been all over the board this season. Its worst loss was a 56-13 thumping against Kennedale, it lost games to Terrell and Gainesville by a combined 15 points, and the Lions got their biggest margin of victory last week in a 42-21 win over Wills Point.
- Kaufman's offense is averaging 23 points per game to the defense's 26 points given up.
- Athens has scored 90 points more than its combined opponents.
- With a win, Athens would tie Kaufman in the district standings and would be in great position for a postseason berth. Crandall and Mabank are at the bottom of the district standings with no league wins and 1-6 records overall.
Key matchup: Athens running game versus Kaufman's defense. There's no hiding the Hornets' primary strength. Logan Fuller, Devin Hall and Travon Fuller have been the biggest producers for the team all season by a huge margin. Athens' running game has outproduced the passing game by more than a 10:1 ratio with 2,593 yards between all runners to 248 total passing yards.
It won't be hard for the Lions to game plan for the Hornets. But executing the plan is another story. Van, now the No. 8 team in the Associated Press' Class 4A poll, got all it wanted from the Athens run game in a narrow 35-32 win. Mabank got worked over for 501 rushing yards last week in a 70-7 loss to the Hornets.
Athens should be able to set the game's tempo. Kaufman has a good quarterback in senior Jackson Fritz, but his team does not have much wiggle room for an off night offensively. The Hornets running game has been about as consistent as it gets since shaking off early losses to Henderson and a larger Hallsville school.
Don't be surprised if: Logan Fuller has another big night. He has gotten stronger as the season has progressed. He had 270 yards on 25 carries last week and was pulled early in the third quarter in last week's blowout win.
Athens should never be ruled out with Logan Fuller in the lineup.