Late Touchdown Sends No. 4 Kennedale To 30-26 Area-Round Defeat Of Athens
[By Joe Elerson, Athens Daily Review]
FORNEY -- The Athens Hornets' season came to an end in the area round of the Class 4A Division I Region II playoffs Friday night at City Bank Stadium.
Kennedale quarterback Jake Michener scored on an 11-yard touchdown run with 18 seconds remaining to lead fourth-ranked Kennedale to a 30-26 win over Athens.
With the loss, sixth-year coach Paul Essary's Hornets finished the year with an 8-4 record.
“There was two heavyweights getting after it and tonight they got the last score and we didn't,” Essary said. “It was a fight defensively and offensively I thought we played great. We had a couple of minor mistakes in the kicking game.”
Essary said he was proud of the way the players fought throughout the season even with the disappointing exit.
“I am very proud of the 8-4 season. We were three points away from having the ninth game and being district champions,” Essary said. “Tonight we were four points away from being the area champions so seven points kept us away from having 10 wins.”
Kennedale (12-0) will meet No. 2 Argyle (12-0) in the regional semifinals next week.
“They are No. 4 for a reason and I thought we played right there with them tonight,” Essary said. “We have given great effort all year and I knew both teams would give great effort. I want to wish Kennedale all of the luck in the world and I hope they can win a state championship.”
Logan Fuller rumbled his way for a 49-yard touchdown run with 10:23 remaining in the game to give Athens a 26-21 lead. The Hornets fumbled on the two-point conversion, and Kennedale's Derrick Williams returned the loose ball for two, cutting the deficit to 26-23.
On the Hornets' next possession, Athens got the ball down to the 1-yard line, but Logan Fuller was stopped short of the end zone on a fourth-down play.
“I am so proud of the guys and they fought hard this season,” Essary said. ”They left everything on the field and we gave it to Logan Fuller behind that line of ours and he was down by inches.”
Athens opened up the scoring as junior Travon Fuller scored on a 14-yard touchdown for the 7-0 lead with 7:58 remaining in the game.
Kennedale senior Juwan Washington tied the game at 7-7 with a 20-yard run with 5:41 remaining in the quarter.
Washington scored his second touchdown of the game with 1:54 remaining in the opening half. This time, he went for 21-yards for a 14-7 Kennedale lead.
Athens tied the game with 1:37 remaining in the opening half as Travon Fuller blasted his way for 59 yards around the right side of the line.
With seven seconds remaining in the half, Washington found paydirt again on a 50-yard run. Michener went for the option play and pitched the ball out to Washington for the touchdown and a 21-14 halftime lead.
Logan Fuller cut the deficit to 21-20 on an 11-yard run around the left side. The PAT was blocked by Darius Wilson with 3:56 remaining in the third.
Logan Fuller finished with 34 carries for 176 yards, while Travon Fuller had nine carries for 123 yards.
Senior Devin Hall finished with 16 carries for 92 yards in his final game as a Hornet.