[By JOE ELERSON, Athens Daily Review]

VAN – For one half of football Friday, the Athens Hornets gave state-ranked Van a scare.

In the second half, the No. 9 Vandals responded as they left with a 56-38 victory.

Van is now 6-0 overall and 2-0 in District 8-4A Division I play.

The Athens Hornets are 2-4 and 1-1 in district.

Athens returns to action Friday hosting the Kaufman Lions, while the Vandals play at Brownsboro.

Athens scored the opening touchdown of the game as Xavius Fulton capped a nine-minute drive with a five-yard run. The Hornets went for two and Jordan Mayhall scored for the 8-0 lead.

Van responded back as Garrett Moseley scored on a one-yard run. Calen McKinney booted the PAT with 11:56 remaining in the first half.

Athens put together another strong drive as Fulton scored his second touchdown of the game on a one-yard run. Dakota Anderson booted the PAT for a 15-7 lead.

Van showed off its explosive passing game as Gus Brewer hauled in a 27-yard pass from Moseley to cut the deficit to 15-14 with 8:41 remaining until hafltime.

But once again, Athens responded right back as Fulton found tight end Rowdy Godwin wide open for a 29-yard touchdown. The score gave Athens a 22-14 lead.

Van then scored the final 14 points of the first half on two long pass plays. Brewer hauled in a 41-yard reception with 5:40 remaining. and Elijah Rankine then wrapped up the scoring with a 60-yard reception for the 28-22 halftime lead.

Van had the first four touchdowns of the second half on a 71-yard reception from Moseley to Bray Doring, an 8-yard reception from Moseley to Doring, a 14-yard run by Moseley, and a 67-yard reception from Liam Nelson to Brewer for the 56-22 lead.

Athens capped the scoring with a 53-yard touchdown run by Andrew McBride and a two-yard run by Mayhall.