Athens Hornets win opener over Brownsboro, 33-14

The Hornet defense shuts down Brownsboro in the second half.

Athens Coach Zac Harrell receives the game ball after getting his first win as a head coach Friday night. The Hornets opened up the season with a 33-14 win over Brownsboro.

By Michael V. Hannigan

BROWNSBORO — Well that was fun, Hornet fans.

The Zac Harrell era started off with a bang Friday night as Athens beat Brownsboro, 33-14, to take home the Highway 31 Championship trophy.

The offensive fireworks were provided by Jerquindon Taylor, who scored four of the Hornets’ five touchdowns, including three on passes from quarterback Chase Friedrich.

But it was the defense stepping up in the second half that turned a 14-12 deficit into a win for Athens. After giving up Bear touchdowns on two of three drives in the first half, the Hornets shut out Brownsboro in the second half.

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Henderson County detention officer saves man from truck fire

Jimmy Moseley

Press release

ATHENS – Jimmy Moseley had finished working a long shift at Sheriff Botie Hillhouse’s Jail Monday when it was finally time to leave the monotone drone of the instructors and echoing, ear-piercing alerts and slamming cell doors and ever-present, rowdy din of the inmates.

He looked forward to the quiet of his drive home to Leagueville, often along unmarked back roads where only the threat of a rogue, feral hog stood between him and a well-earned rest.

But this early evening – it was around 6 p.m. – in the far away distance, he saw just the hint of black smoke rising. The smoke thickened as he turned off FM 317 onto a rocky, narrow, power-line road. This was no normal grass fire.

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Cardinals ready to storm back into playoff picture

Richard Hawkins photo from TVCC scimmage against Texas A&T via TVCC Facebook page.

By Benny Rogers/TVCC Sports Information

A return to the Southwest Junior College Football Conference playoffs is at the top of the to-do list for the Cardinals in 2019.

After five straight years of reaching the postseason as the No. 1 seed, the Cardinals missed the playoffs a year ago. The absence has them motivated.

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Hornet’s 4-star recruit Garrett Hayes brings character with talent

By Toni Garrard Clay/
AISD Communications Coordinator

Athens High School senior Garrett Hayes makes an impression wherever he goes. Sure there’s his size (6-5 and 295 pounds), and there’s his considerable prowess on the football field (more than 30 NCAA Division-1 offers). But while all that is remarkable, his character seems to garner just as much attention among those who know him.

“I have never coached a kid that has his size and strength and moves as quickly as he does,” said new AHS Head Football Coach Zac Harrell. “The most impressive thing about Garrett, however, is his character and ability to put the team first in all situations.”

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Lady Cards open season strong in Vernon Classic

By Benny Rogers/TVCC Sports Information
In the first match of the Aleah Hayes coaching tenure, the Lady Cardinals took care of Pratt with a 3-0 decision. That was followed by a five-set loss to Butler. They finished the event with a pair of 3-0 wins Saturday against host Vernon and Richland.
The Lady Cardinals are scheduled to make their home debut Tuesday against North Central Texas. Game time is 6 p.m. Admission is free.

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Observations from Athens at Palestine scrimmage

This great photo of the Hornet’s interception in the end zone was taken by Carrie Bennett.

By Michael V. Hannigan

PALESTINE — The Athens Hornets went on the road to Palestine Thursday night for their second — and final — scrimmage of the year. Next week, the games start to count.

Thursday, the freshman, JV and varsity teams all got a chance to get some valuable experience.

Here are my observations from the stands from the final scrimmage.

— Some good, some bad: The Hornets had an up and down performance. The defense struggled giving up big plays and the offense looked out of sync at times. But the Hornets also came up with a big interception in the end zone to stop a Palestine drive and the Athens running game was there to lean on if it had been a real game. I also noted that Athens did not turn the ball over on the night, which is no small thing.

— It is all new: I am sure it has happened before, but I personally don’t ever remember seeing a team change its scheme this drastically from one season to the next. Everything the Hornets do is different on both sides of the ball from signaling in plays to lining up. They even punt differently than they did last year.

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