The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

August 23, 2008

Jammin’ at the jamboree

Game doesn’t count in standings, but it’s still an intense experience

For a game that didn’t count, it created an atmosphere charged with intensity, finished with dramatic flair and resulted in smiles from coaches on both squads after Athens defeated Decatur 21-20 at Golden Eagle Stadium Friday night.

“It was a fun game to be a part of,” Athens head coach Allen Creasy said.

Athens struck first on their opening possession to take the early lead.  The Golden Eagles marched the length of the field capped by a four-yard touchdown plunge by Jamaal Bess.  Bess, who totaled 37 yards on the drive, and fellow junior running back Chris Cain both rushed for first downs and receivers Trey Brooks and Chandler Brock both caught first down passes from quarterback J.T. Young on the drive.  The Golden Eagles looked sharp, eating up yards and the clock, methodically rushing and passing the football.

The Red Raiders knotted the score at 7-7 after a 44-yard strike from quarterback Ben Neill to Chris Coffey.

Decatur would threaten later in the second quarter, but Athens made a goal line stand from the one and Decatur missed their field goal try. The score remained tied at the half.

“We bent, but we found a way to keep them out of the end zone,” Creasy said.

After the Red Raiders took a 14-7 lead, they continued to threaten but the Athens’ defense forced two turnovers to keep the game close.  John Sampson recovered the first fumble and Trent Redus forced a second fumble on a quarterback sack.

And the Golden Eagles capitalized on the Red Raider mistakes.

Sedale Bailey gained 21 yards on the first play from scrimmage after recovering the ball on their own eight-yard line.  Manley Carpenter found Brock for a 28-yard gain on the next play.  The drive concluded with Carpenter finding Brock for a 12-yard touchdown, tying the game 14-14.

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