From staff reports
Hartselle (3-0, 2-0) jumped out to a 14-0 first quarter lead that proved too much for Athens (2-1, 1-1) to overcome in a 14-6 loss in a key Class 5A, Region 8 contest.
The Tigers drove down the field and scored on their first possession when Zeth Malcom punched it in on a 4-yard touchdown run.
D’Andre Mack doubled the lead on Hartselle’s next play from scrimmage off a screen pass thrown by quarterback Jake Tiffin. Mack caught the ball at the line of scrimmage and darted 78 yards for a score.
From that point, Athens defense clamped down and allowed three first downs the rest of the game.
The Golden Eagles had a chance to tie the game late when they marched all the way down to the Hartselle 15, only to turn the ball over on downs with 25 seconds remaining.
Abraham McGrady scored Athens’ only points on a pair of field goals in the second and third quarter. Athens had several big plays throughout the game, but had to settle for field goals after reaching Hartselle territory.
McGrady converted a 30-yard field goal as time expired in the first half. Athens reached the 5-yard line in the third quarter after quarterback Stevie Farmer hit Johnnie Anderson on a 44-yard pass play, but the drive stalled again and Athens settled for another McGrady field goal.
Athens has another pivotal region game next week when undefeated Muscle Shoals comes to Golden Eagle Stadium.