ATHENS — Athens coach Allen Creasy said his struggling Golden Eagles team needed a win as it prepared to close out a difficult season.
On homecoming night, Athens got one.
Johnnie Anderson rushed for 118 yards and two touchdowns as the Golden Eagles beat Class 5A, Region 8 rival Lawrence County 17-0 on Friday.
The win snapped a six-game losing streak for Athens (1-7, 2-5).
Lawrence County suffered its fourth straight loss and fifth shutout defense of the season. Athens limited Lawrence County to 46 yards of total offense.
"The defense played really well," Creasy said.
"We've played good defense all year."
Anderson's running paced Athens' offense. He had 107 of his yards in the first half when the Golden Eagles built a 14-0 lead. He scored on runs of 1 and 47 yards.
The 17 points marked Athens' second-highest output of the season.
"The offense played well enough to win," Creasy said. "I wish we could have scored more."
Lawrence County coach Rich Dutton said that despite falling behind early his players continued to believe they could win.
"There was good effort at times," Dutton said.
Anderson scored on a 1-yard run with 7:12 left in the first half for the game's first points. The run capped a 13-play drive.
The next scoring drive took much less time. He added his second touchdown on the second play of Athens' next possession. He burst through the defense for 47 yards at the 5:25 mark of the second quarter.
Yards and points were difficult to come by after that as both teams struggled to move the ball. The only other scoring in the game came in the closing seconds. Howard Harvey added a 34-yard field goal with 34.5 seconds left to cap the scoring. Harvey also made two extra points.
Lawrence County (2-7, 0-7) will close out its season Friday when it hosts Class 1A R.A. Hubbard.
"You want to end the season on a high note," Dutton said. "We want to keep the kids energetic (heading into the last game)."
Athens will finish its season Friday at Class 6A Sparkman. Creasy said the approach would be no different than for any other game they played this season.
"We want to try to get better," Creasy said.
"It's a lot better preparing for the next game after a win. These guys deserved to win."
|High School Sports||@DecaturPreps|