Athens and Gallia Academy set to clash in Game of the Week

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The 2012 season starts with a bang as the defending TVC-Ohio champion Athens Bulldogs welcome the Gallia Academy Blue Devils to Basil Rutter Field.

Last season saw the Bulldogs coming from behind in the second-half to grab their first of 10 wins in 2011, but the Blue Devils look to avenge that opening day loss Friday night in The Plains of Athens County.

The 2012 Bulldogs have a much different look than in 2011, losing several key seniors including Mitch Rider and DeVon Sharp. But the Bulldogs have plenty of firepower returning in established senior WR/DB Skylar Schwartzel and senior defensive linemen Bobby Seabring.

The Blue Devils will be looking to get over the hump of finishing second in the SEOAL in 2012. Ty Warnimont will lead the defense from the linebacker position while Gallia Academy will replace graduated senior RB Brandon Taylor with senior Luke Pullins.

Watch out for the Blue Devils’ returning quarterback Wade Jarrell. After a year of experience in 2011, he’ll be looking to get off to a fast start against the Bulldogs.

Expect another close contest in 2012, much like 2011. This game will be decided in the 4th quarter and can easily come down to who wins the battle at the line of scrimmage.  But both teams have explosive playmakers that can change the game with one dynamic play, making for an exciting football game to watch.

If you’re attending Friday’s game under the lights, you’re in for a treat. Kickoff is set for 7:30pm at Basil Rutter Field in Athens.

Make sure to tune in to Gridiron Glory on WOUB at 11:30 p.m. Friday for highlights and analysis from this game and others from around the area. Stay up to date with live updates on our Twitter and Facebook pages.