WELLSTON — With Athens struggling to find success offensively, coach Ryan Adams dove deep into his playbook to find a play that might ignite his team.  

The ball was snapped to the Bulldogs’ punter, Robert Dickelman, who kept his eyes down the field, surveying the defense in front of him. Wellston was expecting a punt, but instead Dickelman let the ball fly down the sideline into his receiver’s outstretched arms. 

The fake punt set the Bulldogs up with excellent field position. The drive didn’t result in points for the Bulldogs, but it ignited an offense that had trouble moving the ball and finding rhythm in the first half of their 14-13 win.

“I think the team needed a spark,” Adams said. “And we got that spark.”  

A trick play of that magnitude requires the coaching staff and special teams to be in sync. On that particular play, Adams and Dickelman demonstrated their chemistry.

“(Dickelman) waits to see how long the rush can get down the field, before he uncorks the ball,” Adams said. “I’m the one reading the line of scrimmage, once I saw they had two on two out there, I said let’s go for it.” 

The fake punt was not the only spark provided by the Bulldogs’ special teams Friday night. 

After Wellston drove down the field for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, it was an extra point away from tying the game. As the ball was snapped, Treyce Albin of Athens used his speed to come off the edge, getting two hands on the ball and blocking the extra point. 

With the Bulldogs’ defense coming prepared for an unusual wing-T offense, the trickery and precise play of the Bulldogs’ special teams served as the difference in a narrow win. 

“They didn’t pull anything out of the hat we weren’t prepared for,” Adams said.