[By Joe Elerson, Athens Daily Review]

ATHENS -- The Athens Hornets ran into a talented team Friday as the Van Vandals walked out of Bruce Field with a 44-13 victory Friday night.

With the loss, the Hornets dropped to 1-5 overall and 1-1 in District 8-4A Division I play. The Vandals improved to 6-0 and 2-0 in district.

“Van is a really good football team and they are 6-0 for a reason,” Athens coach Paul Essary said. “They are good and solid and play hard. I thought our kids played hard tonight. I am proud of the effort that our kids gave tonight.”

Athens returns to action next Friday as it travels to Kaufman.

The Vandals scored the game's opening touchdown with 9:15 remaining in the first quarter as junior quarterback Garrett Moseley found Isaiah Allred for a 14-yard touchdown pass.

With 4:33 remaining in the opening quarter, Moseley drove the Vandals down the field and connected with Holden Myers on a 12-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead.

The Vandals wrapped up the first quarter scoring as Allred scored on a 25-yard touchdown reception from Moseley for the 21-0 lead. 

Moseley started the game 7-of-7 passing. He finished the night 10 of 18 for 161 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.

“I thought he was going to be as good as I saw,” Essary said. “I thought their team was as good as I saw. They were as good as I saw on video and our kids are playing very hard. We are continuing to get better.”

In the second quarter, the Vandals continued to put the pressure on as with 6:48 remaining in the half, Cooper Bledsoe intercepted an Xavius Fulton pass and raced 40 yards to paydirt for the 28-0 lead.

The Hornets cut into the lead with 53 seconds remaining in the half as Fulton found Rowdy Godwin on a 12-yard pass for the 28-7 deficit.

Van added another touchdown before the half as Moseley blasted his way for a 30-yard touchdown run with 13 seconds remaining. 

In the second half, the Vandals added a 3-yard touchdown run by Reid Thomas with 4:06 remaining in the third quarter.

The final score for the Vandals came with 8:53 remaining in the game as Vasquez nailed a 35-yard field goal for a 44-7 lead.

Athens senior Maalik Hall added a 6-yard touchdown run with 1:27 remaining for the 44-13 final.

Hall finished the night with eight carries for 51 yards. Jerquindon Taylor led the team with 10 carries for 83 yards, Fulton had nine carries for 57 yards.

Quintavian Gardner had one reception for 48 yards, Godwin had two receptions for 29 yards, Taylor had two receptions for 16 yards, and Noah Bush had one reception for one yard.

Van was led by Allred with seven receptions for 128 yards, Connor Houston with four receptions for 102 yards and Myers with three catches for 33 yards. Van backup quarterback Jaxon Taylor was 5 of 8 for 111 yards and one interception.