Big Plays Propel Athens Past Jackson

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They say that a dog is man’s best friend, but tonight, that was not the case.  The Jackson Ironmen hosted the Athens Bulldogs in the Week 4 Game of the Week, but fell to the Bulldogs in an exciting game, 21-14.

The Jackson offense made the first statement of the night with a 47 yard run by sophomore quarterback Derek Rafferty.  He set up a four-yard touchdown run for running back Gabe Griffith to put Jackson up 7-0.

Athens, disgruntled after the Ironmen touchdown, marched all the way down field and tried to get a touchdown of their own.  Once they made it into the red zone, Alec Osborne robbed the Bulldogs of the touchdown and earned his first interception of the night on the two-yard line.

Jackson tried to escape the clutches of their own end zone but were not able to make it far out.  They were forced to punt, but Athens muffed it and Jackson recovered.  Athens drove down the field once more, but was robbed yet again by Osborne on the two-yard line.

Late in the second quarter, Athens started building their drive down field led by sophomore quarterback Joey Burrow.  He connected with Luehrman three times for 39 yards, including a touchdown.  The extra point was no good. The Ironmen still led 7-6 at halftime. 

The Bulldogs were making their way down field and were stopped yet again by Osborne with a forced fumble that Jackson would recover.  Jackson fought their way to a first down, and then handed off to running back Mitchell McCorkle who took it in from 27 yards out.  Jackson extended their lead 14-6.

Burrow took control of his offense on the next drive and showed everyone watching why he was the starting quarterback.  He ran when he needed to and made clutch passes to keep the drive alive. 77 yards later, Athens found themselves with a tie ball game at 14-14 after a two-point conversion. 

Athens took the lead late on yet another big play by Burrow. His 56-yard touchdown run put the Bulldogs up 21-14 in the fourth. One last attempt by the Ironmen fell short in the end zone as time expired.