By Rob Phraner

News Courier Sports

ATHENS – Muscle Shoals gave Athens a scare Friday night by racing to a 14-13 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Golden Eagles shut the Trojans out for the remainder of the game en route to a 42-14 Class 5A Region 8 win.

“Muscle Shoals has speed, and it’s hard to simulate that speed in practice,” Athens Head Coach Allen Creasy said.

Scoring opened with Muscle Shoals returning an interception 83 yards for a touchdown. Ferrell Williams capped the next series with a 13-yard run, one of 3 rushing touchdowns for Williams on the night.

“The offensive line blocked real well for me,” Williams said. “The defense did their job and we wanted to do ours,”

The Trojans responded with a 2-play scoring drive. One rush for 56 yards and another run of 20 yards put Muscle Shoals up 14-7.

“We were emotionally drained after last week and it took us awhile to adjust,” Creasy said. “They are well-coached and they gave us trouble early”

Williams finished the next drive with a 16-yard touchdown to make it 14-13.

“We made some good plays early, but they were the better football team tonight,” Muscle Shoals coach Curley Hallman said.

The defense adjusted and shut down the Trojans the rest of the way. Athens quarterback Rob Ezell scrambled 44 yards for a touchdown to make it 21-14 at halftime.

The second half was all Golden Eagles.

“They beat the dog stuffing out of us,” Hallman said.

Muscle Shoals only managed 24 yards of rushing in the second half with only one complete pass. Meanwhile the Golden Eagles rolled up 410 total rushing yards for the game. Williams finished with 164 yards and Ezell finished with 130 yards.

“Our offensive line is much more experienced from last year and they controlled the line of scrimmage,” Creasy said.

Defensive standout Karlos Jones played a great defensive game and sealed the victory by rambling 8 yards for a touchdown.

“Coach said if you make turnovers, you’ll have a chance to score,” Jones said. “It felt pretty good.”

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