ATHENS – The Athens Hornets clinched a playoff spot in District 15-3A with a 56-14 win over the Mabank Panthers on Homecoming Night at Bruce Field.

The Hornets improved to 8-0 on the season and 3-0 in district. They can clinch no worse than a share for the district championship with a win on the road at Mineola next week. The Panthers’ playoff hopes took a bit of a blow, as they fell to 1-2 in league play and 2-6 overall.

The Hornets, off to their best start in school history, came out of the gates gunning. They held a 21-0 lead after the first quarter and a 42-7 lead at the half. By the fourth quarter, Athens head coach Paul Essary pulled all of his offensive starters.

Logan Fuller, Athens’ sensational sophomore fullback, cross the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the season with another big performance. Fuller ran 19 times for 183 yards. He scored three more touchdowns to bring his team-leading total to 17 on the season.

Ladarius Jordan also had a breakout game, scoring three touchdowns of his own to go along with 87 yards rushing. Devin Hall finished with 64 yards on the ground. All told, the Hornets rushed for 398 yards and finished with 461 total yards.

Another Athens sophomore, Travon Fuller, had a huge game, as well. He intercepted a pair of passes, returned the opening kickoff of the second half 85 yards for a touchdown and had a punt return for a touchdown called back due to a penalty.

Anthony Sanders added a 10-yard touchdown pass to fellow senior Chris Jefferson, an SMU commit.

Mabank’s scores came on a 14-yard run by quarterback Garrett Holcomb late in the second quarter and on Dylan Schneider’s seven-yard run with a little more than seven minutes to go in the third quarter. Schneider led the Panthers in rushing with 91 yards on 23 carries, and Holcomb wasn’t far behind with 86 yards on 15 carries.

The Panthers were playing without the services of starting running back Clay Gaddis, who was injured in last week’s win over the Brownsboro Bears.