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Athens High School football team plays against Vinton County, at Joe Burrow Stadium, in Athens Ohio, on Sept. 17, 2022.

Athens Football: Athens remains winless, falls 38-13 to Logan

What started as a promising chance at its first victory of the season ended in a blowout loss for Athens. 

In the hunt for its first, Athens (0-6, 0-2 TVC Ohio) played host to Logan (2-4), known historically as a major rival. This was the 95th meeting between the two, dating back to their first game in 1914. 

Tonight, the Bulldogs fell to their rivals 35-13. 

"It's just another game we didn't get done," Athens head coach Nathan White said. "Rivalries, they're cool for the fans, but it's just another football game, every one is huge. Our kids are excited to go out and play on Friday night no matter who it is."

The Bulldogs' initial game drive ended with six points due to a 7-yard touchdown reception by sophomore wide receiver Kaiden Bycofski. This would be the only score of the first half for the Bulldogs. 

The Bulldog defense allowed more points Friday than any game since week two when they allowed 38 points to Gallia. This could, in part, be a result of a myriad of injuries that continue to plague the team. 

Despite getting the standout senior Landon Wheatley back this week, the team was without one of their top defensive weapons, Marcus Stevers. Also a leading receiver on the team, Stevers entered this week as one of the team's most impactful players on defense. 

"Landon made some plays tonight," White said. "Unfortunately, we got him back and lost a couple of other guys. That's the way it works when you get to the midpoint of the season; guys start getting dinged up. You need other guys to step up and I was proud of the guys who stepped up and played."

Athens struggled the most in limiting the run game on defense. Coming off of a week where it allowed 342 rushing yards to Vinton County, Athens let up 308 yards Friday against Logan. Along with being north of 300 yards, the Chieftain offense put up five rushing touchdowns on the day. 

"Every week is a little bit different depending on the scheme that you get," White said. "The last two weeks, we got similar schemes; we just didn't handle it very well."

However, there were some bright spots on defense. Sophomore Brady Wharton came down with a huge interception at the end of the first half that halted a promising put-away drive by Logan. 

The game's turning point came in the third quarter when the Bulldogs were down by only one point. They had forced the Chieftains to punt on fourth down and set themselves up with a prime opportunity to drive down the field and tie the game. However, on the punt return, the ball was fumbled and the Chieftains retained possession. Later that drive, they scored another touchdown, putting the game out of reach for the Bulldogs. 

Despite the loss, the Bulldogs put together an offensive performance that showed improvement from weeks past. In the first half, the team went one-for-one on red zone scoring tries after being zero-for-six last week against Vinton. 

Sophomore quarterback Braeden Young was again able to put up a promising offensive performance after starting the year on junior varsity. The young quarterback threw for 115 yards on 34 attempts with a touchdown and zero turnovers. 

"We just executed," White said. "We called some good plays, and our kids ran them well. We've had the plays there all year; we just kind of have to put it all together; we did that a couple of times tonight, but Not enough, obviously."

Athens will still be searching for its first win of the season as they travel to Meigs next week. The game is set to kick off at 7 p.m.

@robertkeegan_

bk272121@ohio.edu

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