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Athens Clobbers Canton to Move to 6-0 For First Time Since 1996

Athens’ Travon Fuller (11) heads to end zone during the Hornets’ home win over Palestine on Sept. 27. (Lee Loveless, ETSN.fm)

CANTON — The Athens Hornets continued their winning ways with a 50-26 victory over the Canton Eagles Friday night at Norris Birdwell Stadium.

The win in the District 15-3A opener pushed the Hornets’ record to 6-0, matching the team’s best start since 1996. Canton, coming off a win two weeks ago against Wills Point, fell to 1-5.

The Hornets overcame a sloppy first half in which they lost four fumbles and then held off a somewhat serious Eagle rally over the game’s final 11 minutes. Athens led, 37-6, heading into the fourth quarter but watched as Canton scores three more times — including once after recovering an onside kick.

Canton quarterback Chandler Eiland played a major role in the rally attempt, throwing a pair of touchdown passes to Brad Wiggins and running for another in the fourth quarter. The Eagles, however, never found a way to stop the Hornet running game, which amassed 434 yards on 65 attempts.

Most of that damage on the ground was done by sophomore fullback Logan Fuller, junior tailback Devin Hall and senior quarterback Anthony Sanders. The trio combined for 383 yards and six touchdowns, with Sanders also throwing a touchdown pass to SMU-commit Chris Jefferson, who also had two sacks and a tipped pass from his outside linebacker position. Hall finished the evening with 147 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown, Fuller ran 24 times for 146 yards and three touchdowns and Sanders ran 10 times for 90 yards and two scores.

Eiland, a junior, threw for 275 yards and ran for 103 — 89 of which came on a touchdown scramble in the second quarter. He later added a rushing score on a 27-yard run.

The Hornets ran up a 16-0 lead in the first quarter on a safety, a 4-yard run by Fuller and a 10-yard run by Hall. After Eiland’s 89-yard score, Fuller found the end zone from a yard out and Sanders scored on a 12-yarder to give the Hornets a 30-6 lead. The touchdown pass from Sanders to Jefferson made it 37-6 at the half.

In addition to five lost fumbles for the game, the Hornets were penalized 12 times for 105 yards.

Athens 50, Canton 26

Norris Birdwell Stadium, Canton

Athens  16  0  21  13 — 50
Canton  0  6  0  20 — 26
First Quarter
A — Safety (ball snapped out of end zone), 10:33
A — Logan Fuller 4 run (David Cedillo kick), 4:11
A — Devin Hall 10 run (Cedillo kick), 2:32
Second Quarter
C — Chandler Eiland 89 run (kick blocked), 5:14
Third Quarter
A — Fuller 1 run (Cedillo kick), 8:12
A — Anthony Sanders 12 run (Cedillo kick), 1:48
A — Sanders 7 pass to Chris Jefferson (Cedillo kick), 0:46
Fourth Quarter
C — Eiland 25 pass to Brad Wiggins (Eiland to Ryan Slider), 10:50
C — Eiland 27 run (pass fails), 9:20
A — Sanders 19 run (Cedillo kick), 2:52
C — Eiland 53 pass to Wiggins (run fails), 2:25
A — Fuller 2 run (kick blocked), 0:53

                                       A                  C
First downs                      25                13
Rush-yards                 65-434          14-98
Passing yards                    32             275
C-A-I                            3-7-0        22-41-1
Fumbles-lost                     6-5              4-2
Punts-avg.                    2-39.5         4-28.5
Penalties-yards             12-105            5-40

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHINGA: Anthony Sanders 10-90; Logan Fuller 24-146; Devin Hall 23-147; Ladarius Jordan 5-37; Travon Fuller 2-9; Adam Stallings 1-5. C: Chandler Eiland 11-103; Jordan Jackson 1-0; Brad Wiggins 1-17; team 1-(-22).
PASSINGA: Anthony Sanders 3-7-32-0. C: Chandler Eiland 22-41-275-1.
RECEIVINGA: Travon Hall 1-12; Nikell Roberts 1-13; Chris Jefferson 1-7. C: Jordan Jackson 3-8; Brad Wiggins 7-130; Jared Grace 5-60; Garrett Denbow 3-33; Cody Smith 1-2; Samuel Miller 1-12; Ryan Slider 2-30.

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