It has been just under 365 days since the last meeting of long-standing football rivals Athens and Alexander. In a series spanning more than 25 games, this matchup was no exception to the intensity between the two Athens County teams and their beloved fans.
Coming off of an 0-3 start to the season, Athens head coach Nathan White led his team to a 55-7 victory and eliminated any doubts about the Bulldogs’ season.
With a 62-yard touchdown in their opening series, junior quarterback Braeden Young set the tone for the game early. The Bulldogs continued to dominate offensively, with junior running backs Alex Pero and Kaiden Bycofski leading the scorers of the night with four rushing touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns of over 50-yards a piece, respectively.
Despite their difficult start to the game, the Spartans opened the second quarter with a touchdown drive and a defensive stop to keep the crowd invested in the game and maintain the rivalry’s competitive atmosphere.
Defensively, the Bulldogs held the Spartans to just that one touchdown and forced one fumble, which resulted in a touchdown. Leading tacklers for Athens were juniors Luke Kaiser and Seth Hart. After a 30-0 loss against Alexander last season, this is a huge bounce-back win for the Bulldogs who now lead the series 21-5.
Next week, the Bulldogs will face 3-1 Vinton County, while the Spartans take on 1-3 Wellston.