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Athens' Clay Davis (#18) hands the ball off to running back Evan Adams (#21) during the Bulldogs' game against Fairland on Aug. 31. (FILE)

Athens Football: Athens looks to move on after last week's heartbreaker

Last week, the Bulldogs walked off Jim Mayo Memorial Field with their heads down. Athens' heartbreaking last-minute defeat to Fairland was gut-wrenching, but after the players finished their postgame meal, they walked to the buses in silence with determined look on their faces. 

It was time to move on. 

“Life throws these kind of things at you all the time,” Athens coach Ryan Adams said. “You just pick up the pieces and move on to the next day.”

On Friday at 7:30 p.m., Athens (1-1) looks to move back into the win column when it faces Parkersburg South (West Virginia) at home. The Patriots are 1-1 this season.

The Bulldogs will have to be more well-rounded offensively to defeat Parkersburg South. Last week the Athens running game was nearly non-existent. Fairland held running back Evan Adams to 38 yards on 15 carries. The lack of a ground attack resulted in predictable play calling, forcing Clay Davis to attempt 45 passes — almost tripling the amount from Week 1.

“It’s great to not be one-dimensional,” Davis said. “Last year, we’d have games were we’d just run the ball and that’s what’s working and we’d have games where the passing was working.” 

Athens is hoping to find balance in Week 3, but having another passing week wouldn’t be a bad idea against the Patriots — last week, they were torched through the air for 336 yards. Davis has the arm and receivers to exceed that mark.

Last week, Peyton Gail had 10 catches for 123 yards. Logan Maxfield and Nate Trainer combined for 11 catches, 122 yards and a touchdown. Against a potentially weak secondary, Davis could have his best game of the season. 

But it won’t matter what Athens does offensively if it can’t commit less penalties. Last week's 13 penalties for 135 yards was a major reason it didn’t beat Fairland.

This game is pivotal for Athens. The Bulldogs have very little room for error throughout the rest of the season as another loss could ultimately result in a fourth consecutive season missing the playoffs.


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