Darrell Prater stampedes down the field against the Athens Golden Eagles. Jake Pinholster| Warrior Images
Amy Thrash, Sports Reporter
FORT PAYNE, Ala.--The Fort Payne Wildcats were defeated by the Athens Golden Eagles 41-40, in a nailbiter on Friday night.
The Wildcats picked up a safety when the Golden Eagles snapped the ball, and it went over the punter's head into the endzone, giving the Wildcats the 2-0 lead with 10:24 remaining in the first quarter. Fort Payne’s Kaden Dubose dashed down the field with a 36-yard touchdown making the score 9-0 with 9:13 left in the first quarter. Devin Wells intercepted the ball and returned it to make the score 16-0 with 7:30 remaining in the first.
In the second quarter, Athens scored with 10:23 remaining to make the score 16-7. With 7:59 left in the second quarter, Darrell Prater ran up the middle with an 18-yard touchdown to make the score 22-7. Athens scored their second touchdown of the night with 7:12 remaining in the first half making the score 23-14. Dubose stampeded into the endzone from 3-yards out for another touchdown for the Wildcats giving them the 30-14 advantage over the Golden Eagles with 1:33 left in the second quarter. Athens answered back with an 80- yard touchdown making the score 30-20. Alex McPherson nailed a 32-yard field goal to make the score 33-20 at the half.
In the third quarter with 5:58 remaining Sawyer Burt made a 14-yard touchdown, making the score 40-20. Athens Scored on a 14-yard pass to cut the score to 40-27with 2:17 left in the third quarter.
With 10:16 remaining in the fourth quarter Athens scored on a 37-yard pass making the score 40-34. Athens hit another 23- yard touchdown pass to take the 41-40 lead with 7:10 left in the game. McPherson attempted a 53-yard field goal but failed, giving the Athens Golden Eagle’s the 41-40 win over the Fort Payne Wildcats.
“I give Athens a lot of credit for not giving up and coming back to win the game”, stated Head Football Coach Chris Elmore. “I am disappointed in myself for not having our players in the proper condition to finish the game. We had complete control when we were ahead 40-20 halfway through the third quarter. We just have to learn to finish the game and not lose a lead like that in the second half. We will learn and improve as we move forward.”
Fort Payne will host Gadsden City Friday night at 7 pm.