The Hornet offense exploded Friday night, powering Athens to a 52-29 homecoming win over Ferris.
Athens rushed for nearly 500 yards on the night and scored touchdowns on seven of its first eight possessions of the game.
The Hornets never punted in the game and were so dominate they only face six third-down situations all night, and they converted four of those.
While Ferris couldn’t stop Athens, the Yellowjackets had no intentions of going quietly and matched the Hornets score for score early in the game. Ferris was still within striking distance at halftime with Athens holding a 26-17 lead.
But as it has in other games this season, the Hornet defense rose up in the second half and shut down the Yellowjackets. The Athens defense only allowed one touchdown in the second half, while scoring one of its own.
The win improves the Hornets record to 3-1 on the season. Athens will be in the friendly confines of Bruce Field again next week as the Hornets play host to Bullard in the final non-district game of the regular season.
— OK, let’s check and see how the rushing broke down for the Hornets tonight:
- Nathan Sims – 13 carries for 207 yards and three touchdowns.
- Jecorey Roberts – 11 carries for 113 yards and two touchdowns.
- Jerquindon Taylor – 9 carries for 62 yards and a touchdown.
- Chase Friedrich – 9 carries for 83 yards and a touchdown
- Colin Barker – 3 carries for 31 yards.
— Those five ball carries combined for 18 runs of 10 or more yards, and all of them had at least one.
— Every week the Hornets roll out something new. This week, the Athens offense spent the entire first quarter in a Diamond formation. That is where the quarterback is in shotgun with a running back to each side and one behind him (see below). I love the way that Coach Harrell is doing this, adding pieces to his offense a little bit at a time and tailored for the opponent. … Did you notice that in the first four plays from this formation all four running backs touched the ball?
This is the formation Athens used every snap of the 1Q. pic.twitter.com/TarwFKve5I— Michael V. Hannigan (@MVHannigan) September 21, 2019
— Another big thing tonight was the amount of inside zone read the Hornets ran with quarterback Chase Friedrich and the running backs. Friedrich did a great job making the correct reads and the Hornets ran this option concept several times.
— Although the Hornets didn’t throw the ball much, Friedrich was still able to get 95 yards passing on six completions. Rowdy Godwin was the leading receiver with three catches for 32 yards.
— The only turnover of the game came in the fourth quarter when Hornet Justin Young picked off a Ferris pass near the 30 yard line and raced into the end zone. Young had a second interception earlier in the game erased by an offsides penalty.
— One big play that might have gone unnoticed was the fumble recovery by Cedric Lowe on a kickoff return deep in Athens territory. The score was tied 6-6 at that time in the game and if the Yellowjackets had recovered they would have been in perfect position to score and take the lead. Instead, the Hornets marched down the field and scored to keep control of the game. Important play by Lowe.
— You have to love a goal line stand. Ferris had the ball first and goal on the Athens 9 shortly before halftime. On the first play, the Yellowjackets ran down to the 3 yard line, but that is as close as they got. The Hornets stopped Ferris on three straight plays from the 3.
— It was homecoming, so congratulations to the Athens High School Homecoming Court!