Athens Capitalizes on Spring Hill Turnovers in 21-7 Win
[By Jayson Larson, Special to ETSN.fm]
ATHENS — The Athens Hornets evened their record at 1-1 on the season with a 21-7 win over the Spring Hill Panthers on Friday night at Bruce Field.
The Hornets — looking to rebound after last week’s 42-14 setback at Kaufman — forced six Spring Hill turnovers and beat the Panthers for the third consecutive season after losing their opener.
Athens rode the two-headed rushing attack of junior Raheem Miller and sophomore Devin Hall to victory. Miller ran 13 times for 88 yards and a touchdown, while Hall toted the ball 15 times for 68 yards and a score.
Miller and Hall also scored a touchdown each last week.
But it was the Hornet defense that shined bright on a night when Athens debuted its new half-million-dollar video scoreboard. Travon Fuller, a freshman, and junior Anthony Sanders each intercepted Spring Hill quarterback Ben Hollas, and the Panthers lost three of their six fumbles.
Athens scored 14 points off those turnovers, including Sanders’ 35-yard pass to junior Javonte Johnson on a 4th-and-5 play near the start of the second quarter.
Spring Hill answered with a 76-yard scoring run by Hollas, who finished the night with 20 carries for 137 yards. The rest of the Panther offense accounted for 120 yards of offense.
Athens went ahead for good when Hall scored from a yard out to give his team a 14-7 lead. Miller dragged a handful of defenders into the end zone with him two minutes later for the Hornets’ final score — set up by Fuller’s leaping interception near midfield. Spring Hill tried to take advantage of sloppy Athens play late in the fourth quarter, but the Panthers’ last-gasp attempt to put more points on the board was thwarted when Sanders intercepted a ball deep in Athens territory to ice the game.
Johnson finished the game with all three of Athens’ receptions for 57 yards.
Athens will once again work to eliminate penalties as it heads into next week’s road game at Gladewater. The Hornets were penalized 11 times for 93 yards a week after they were flagged 12 times for 75 yards.