Sooner or later, all good things must come to an end.
When Athens entered Joe Burrow Stadium on Friday it expected its 13th straight win against Vinton County since 2008. With less than 30 seconds left, the script had been flipped. The Bulldogs were down by eight and the Vikings left Athens with a 28-20 win.
After Athens (1-1, 1-1 TVC-Ohio) defeated Alexander last week, questions were raised on how effective its sluggish offense would be against Vinton County. For most of Friday night, the situation was dire. Joey Moore went 12-26 for 300 passing yards. The Bulldogs’ offense did find a rhythm after halftime, but the Vikings always remained a step ahead.
The offense still had its golden moments. Brayden Whiting boosted morale with a 70-yard touchdown that brought the Bulldogs within a hair’s width of taking the lead for the first time in the game. Peyton Gail scored on a 57-yard run to tie the game at 20.
The Vikings were a wildcard before Friday. They allowed 22 points in their first game against Meigs but also had a strong offense that Athens needed to match. The Bulldogs attempted a final comeback drive with 23 seconds left in an attempt to force overtime.
Instead, the game ended when Moore was sacked by Boomer Herrold.
Athens showed exponential improvement from its game against Alexander. It wasn’t enough. Vinton County didn’t tire out and give in like week one, and the Bulldogs lost their winning streak because of it.