Athens Scores 77 in First Half, Throttles Alexander

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Athens put up 77 points before halftime on its way to sending cross-town rival Alexander home Friday night, 83-14. With the win, the Bulldogs moved to 7-0 on the season.

By the time the teams went to the locker room for the half, the outcome was out of question.

At 7-0, Athens has proven to be a powerhouse this year as the No. 1 team in Division III, Region 9.

Before the kickoff, the Bulldogs had a focused demeanor. As the Athens fans roared and used golden clappers to welcome the 2013 homecoming court – which included wide receiver Ryan Luehrman – lineman Tyler Bailey and wide receiver Sean Vander Ven simply looked to each other on the sideline and exclaimed, “Let’s go!” 

Bailey and Vander Ven’s sentiment seemed to ring in all of the Bulldog’s minds.

Athens’ dynamic offensive trio of Gridiron Glory Player of the Year candidates – Joe Burrow, Trae Williams and Luehrman – propelled their squad to an overwhelming victory.

Burrow achieved perfection in the first half, throwing 11-for-11 with 282 yards and five touchdowns to lead his team to a 77-7 lead in 24 minutes. he passed the 2,000-yard passing mark with a 49-yard touchdown to Luehrman at the end of the second quarter.

The Bulldogs had the ball 11 times in the first half; they scored touchdowns on all 11 drives. In the first quarter alone, Athens averaged just over 45 seconds per touchdown drive.

Burrow tossed a 32-yard pass to the corner of the end zone to start the slugfest less than two minutes into in the first quarter. Just a couple minutes later, Williams ran for a 67-yard touchdown to put the Bulldogs up, 14-0.

Williams finished the night with 249 rushing yards and three scores. The junior played both sides of the ball with power that Alexander could not handle. The sound of No. 2’s hits on defense resounded through Basil Rutter Field.

Although Spartan quarterback Brody McGrath was not completely ineffective, the Bulldog defense managed to contain the conference’s second-leading passer. MCGrath led the Spartan offense to two touchdowns and finished the night with 180 yards.

Athens played its reserves for the majority of the second half.

Luehrman also showed his Player of the Year potential in several phases of the game Friday night. The junior played offense, defense and special teams, and he spread the love with a 42-yard pass on a trick play to his brother, Adam. The play led to one of the Bulldogs’ five touchdowns in the first quarter. Ryan Luehrman ended with 152 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

Athens compiled over 700 total yards on offense, compared to the Spartans’ 218. Alexander now has lost 6 consecutive games.

Athens travels to Vinton County (4-3, 1-1 TVC-Ohio) Friday, Oct. 18. Alexander (1-6, 0-2) hosts Nelsonville-York (2-5, 0-2).