Athens took a big step toward securing a playoff spot with a 3-0 shutout victory over Cullman Saturday. Goals from Williams Mathews, Harper Ward and Cole Schrimsher secured a crucial area victory at Athens High School Stadium.
“It was a big win,” said Athens head coach Ron Oakley. “Cullman is a really good team.”
Mathews opened the scoring off an assist from Will Reeves in the 14th minute. Ward gave Athens a two-goal cushion 10 minutes before the break from a Robbie Phraner pass.
Schrimsher put the game away 12 minutes into the second half from a Mathews assist.
The win puts No. 6 Athens in tie for first place in the area with No. 8 Cullman. Athens has area games remaining against No. 9 Hartselle and No. 10 East Limestone next week.
The area winner will avoid a first-round playoff game against No. 3 Fort Payne in the playoffs. Athens and East Limestone both advanced to the second round of the playoffs last season with Athens advancing to the state tournament.