By Jonathan Deal
After missing a spring jamboree due to inclement weather, Athens head coach Allen Creasy wanted to make sure his team got a stern test entering the season.
He got that Friday night in defending 3A champs Madison Academy as the Mustangs beat Athens 35-15 in an exhibition game.
“I was proud of how our guys played,” said Creasy. “They (Madison Academy) are a heck of a football team. We’re going to be able to take our film and show our guys what we have to be able to make plays against teams of that caliber. That’s why we picked Madison Academy to play.”
After a scoreless first quarter, Mustangs star running back Kerryon Johnson ran for a 55-yard touchdown to give Madison Academy the lead. The junior finished with more than 100 yards in a little over two quarters of work as the home team took a 14-0 lead.
Athens’ offense looked promising in its first drive under new quarterback Stevie Farmer. Farmer led Athens inside the Mustang’s 20-yard line, but an interception ended the Golden Eagles best chance to score with its first team.
Both teams played mostly reserve players in the second half and Athens starting receiver and backup quarterback William Mathews took advantage by running for a pair of touchdowns to keep Athens within two possessions throughout the game.
“We knew that there would be questions that would be answered tonight and I think we got that,” said Creasy. “This wasn’t a scheme game … it was a game where you are trying to go out and execute and find places where your guys are making mistakes so your guys don’t do it when it counts.”
Athens kicks off its season at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30, against rival Decatur in Golden Eagle Stadium.