Athens Clinches Final District 15-3A Playoff Spot With 55-20 Rout of Brownsboro
BROWNSBORO — The Athens Hornets scored three touchdowns in a less than three minutes to open their 55-20 win over the Brownsboro Bears on Friday night at Bear Stadium.
With the victory, Athens (4-6) clinched the third and final playoff spot in District 15-3A, denying Brownsboro (5-5) a chance to go to the playoffs one season after finishing 1-9. Van beat Canton, 35-21, to secure the 15-3A championship. Canton will enter the playoffs as the district’s second-place team.
The Hornets will open the playoffs next week against Kilgore (9-1), which entered Friday night’s game against Gilmer ranked No. 4 in Class 3A. Gilmer handed Kilgore a 20-14 loss Friday night.
Athens and Kilgore play at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Whitehouse.
Athens wasted little time setting the tone for the game, taking a 20-0 lead as fans were still settling into their seats. Devin Hall got the Hornets on the board first, capping a scoring drive that lasted just 1:11 with a four-yard touchdown run.
On Brownsboro’s third play from scrimmage, Athens linebacker Chris Jefferson intercepted Bears senior quarterback Shelby Rogers and returned it 24 yards for a touchdown to make it 14-0, and Raheem Miller scored on a three-yard run after Brownsboro fumbled away the ensuing kickoff to get the rout started.
Miller and Hall had big nights for the Hornets. Miller, a senior, ran 16 times for a season-high 167 yards and two touchdowns. Hall carried 28 times for the Hornets for 168 yards and three touchdowns.
Rogers, who missed most of last week’s game against Canton, finished his high school career with a solid game. Aside from the interception, he was 14 of 22 for 168 yards with a pair of touchdowns. After throwing for more than 2,000 yards last season, he finished the 2012 season with 1,986 yards with 20 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
Miller’s first touchdown pass of the night went to Davonte Givens from 27 yards away to cut the Athens lead to 20-7 in the second quarter. But he didn’t throw his second touchdown pass until late in the second quarter, when he connected with Quintus Lee from 56 yards away. By then, Athens held a 41-13 lead.
Lee returned the opening kickoff of the fourth quarter 103 yards for a touchdown to round out the scoring for Brownsboro.