DECATUR — From staff reports
DECATUR — A strategic game filled with defense and special teams all came down to a frenetic finish at Ogle Stadium Friday. Following a wild finish with two touchdowns in the game’s final minute, it was Athens that left Decatur with a 26-24 win over Austin.
Following a 25-yard field goal by Bram McGrady to gave Athens a 19-17 lead, the Golden Eagles defense came up with a crucial stop to get the ball back.
With nothing to do but run the clock out, Tarik Malone ripped off a 69-yard touchdown run to give Athens a two-possession lead and seal the win with just over a minute to play.
It was the difference maker.
Austin marched right down the field, scoring on a 7-yard pass play from Chris Sparkman to Ashton Kracke with 10 second remaining. The Black Bears recovered the onside kick, but Paxton Schrimsher intercepted Sparkman’s final heave to the 15-yard line as time expired.
Athens defense once again put in a dominating performance, limiting Austin to less than 100 yards of offense in the first half.
Johnnie Anderson opened the scoring with a 1-yard touchdown run after Austin got on board first with a David Jaimes 25-yard field goal.
McGrady added a pair of second-quarter field goals, including a 43-yarder as final seconds ticked off the first half. McGrady was Athens leading scorer, going 4 for 4 on field goal attempts.
Athens quarterback Stevie Farmer put in a solid performance, completing 20 of 31 passes for 204 yards.
Athens (3-2, 1-2) travels to East Limestone (2-3, 1-2) Friday for a pivotal 5A Region 8 game.