Athens Records 47-27 Bi-District Playoff Win Over Pittsburg
[By Joe Elerson, Athens Daily Review]
MESQUITE -- The Athens Hornets walked out of Mesquite’s E.H. Hanby Stadium on Friday night with a 47-27 win over the Pittsburg Pirates.
With the win, coach Paul Essary’s Hornets head into a Class 4A Division I Region II area-round contest against the fourth-ranked Kennedale Wildcats, which beat Wilmer-Hutchins, 41-8, also Friday night. The contest is set for Forney's City Bank Stadium next Friday night.
“I am ready to enjoy this and we will worry about the next opponent about noon tomorrow,” Essary said after being award the bi-district trophy.
The Hornets (8-3) opened the scoring with 11:53 remaining in the second quarter as senior quarterback Chad Head found junior Travon Fuller for a 20-yard touchdown. David Cedillo booted the PAT good for the 7-0 lead.
With 7:54 remaining in the half, Pittsburg (4-7) tied the game as quarterback Billy Kimble found Red Shields for a 28-yard touchdown.
Athens regained the lead as junior Logan Fuller barreled his way into the end zone from 5 yards out for a 14-7 lead Athens carried into halftime.
Athens came out on fire in the third quarter as Logan Fuller scored his second touchdown of the night on a 5-yard touchdown for a 21-7 lead with 8:43 remaining in the third.
Athens recovered a fumble on the Pirates' next possession. With the ball on the Pirates' 37-yard line, Travon Fuller hauled in the reception from Chad Head for a 27-7 lead.
“We talked about it coming out at halftime that we needed to stay disciplined because it was 14-7,” Essary said. “They scored on a trick play and I thought our defense played well. Our offense was starting to get into a groove and figuring out what they were doing.”
Following a 3-yard touchdown run by Pittsburg, Athens scored on a 1-yard run by Logan Fuller and a 1-yard run by Devin Hall for a 47-13 lead with 8:42 remaining in the game.
Logan Fuller finished the game with 24 carries for 183 yards, while Hall had 13 carries for 81 yards.
Travon Fuller finished the night with five carries for 34 yards and three catches for 71 yards.
“We came and stay together and continued to be physical. Good things happen for you and it did tonight,” Essary said. “I thought everyone played good. Our starters did a good job and I was proud that some of our freshmen kids got in and got a little experience on varsity in a playoff game.”