Athens Stops Vinton County Comeback

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The Athens Bulldogs stymied a Vinton County second half comeback to hold on to a 28-14 win Friday night.

While the game ended up being a little close in the end, it started out looking like it would be anything but that.

Athens quickly took a 7-0 lead, scoring on its first possession after a 30-yard pass to Robert Dickelman set up another 30-yard pass and touchdown to Nick Barga.

From there, both teams traded a few three-and-outs each before Athens struck again, this time on a 5-yard touchdown pass to Treyce Albin to take a 14-0 lead into halftime.

It seemed like the Bulldogs were going to cruise to a victory. They opened the second half with a blocked Vinton County punt that led to a 14-yard touchdown pass to Easton McCollum, giving the Bulldogs a commanding 20-0 lead midway through the third quarter.

But the Vikings weren’t going to take things lying down. Just before the end of the third quarter they came back with a long touchdown pass by Naylan Yates that broke the Bulldogs defense’ nearly 11-quarter scoreless streak.

Vinton County didn’t slow down from there either. They opened the fourth quarter with a cross-body touchdown pass to cut the Bulldogs lead down to just six points.

But the Vikings couldn’t complete the comeback, and after a late Athens score the game was iced with the Bulldogs on top of the Vikings 28-14.

Next week Athens returns home to take on the Logan Chieftains and Vinton County is headed to Alexander to take on the Spartans.