Game Preview: Warren Hoping To Slow Down Athens Offense

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Over the last few years, the Athens Bulldogs and Warren Warriors have become familiar foes on the hardwood, meeting in the playoffs in the last two seasons. Both playoff contests resulted in an onslaught of offense by Warren to lift the Warriors in both matchups.

On the gridiron, however, the offensive firepower lies with the Bulldogs.

Athens (2-0) has averaged 59 points in their first two games, most recently lighting up the scoreboard for 66 points against a Zanesville team just one year removed from a 13-1 season and a trip to the Division II State Semifinals. Running back Trae Williams ran for 247 yards and five touchdowns against Zanesville, while quarterback Joe Burrow matched Williams’ five touchdowns and accumulating 392 yards through the air. Through two games of the highly-touted quarterback’s senior season, Burrow has completed on 31-for-37 of his passes for 681 yards and nine touchdowns.

Warren looks to keep its defensive momentum rolling against the Bulldogs after the Warrior defense allowed Marietta to score just eight points in week two. The Warriors stressed defensive success during the offseason and used a ‘warrior shield’ as a symbol for Warren’s upgraded defense.

“A shield is a warrior’s defensive tool,” Warren head coach Anthony Fish said. “If used properly, it can also be a weapon.”

As many opponents have seen throughout the Joe Burrow era, stopping the Bulldogs is easier said than done. While Zanesville graduated a large sum of its team this offseason, the Blue Devils did not allow an opponent to score over 17 points in the 2013 regular season. Athens’ 66-point show against Zanesville shows opponents like Warren that they will have to outscore the Bulldogs to snag a victory.

Warren will have to outscore Athens under the leadership of Andrew Henthorn, the Warriors’ senior quarterback that replaced standout Austin Klintworth after last season. Henthorn is protected by an inexperienced offensive line, which will need to have a big game to allow Henthorn to make plays.

The two teams met in Week 3 of the 2013 season, and the Bulldogs walked away with a 42-6 victory on the road. 

The 2014 installment is set to kick off from Athens High School on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

'Gridiron Glory' airs every Friday night at 11:30 p.m. on WOUB. You can follow the show on Twitter @gridironglory, like the Gridiron Glory page on Facebook, and follow along on Instagram @woubsports. You can also join the conversation throughout the season by using the hashtag #GridGlory!