Updated Fri, Nov 1, 2013 11:35 pm
Athens came into the 2013 football season seeking excellence and proved its brawn Friday night at Basil Rutter Field, as the Bulldogs defeated Nelsonville-York, 56-20, ending their regular season with a 10-0 record.
The Athens offense propelled them to its undisputed TVC-Ohio title. The Bulldogs dominated the Buckeyes, garnering 543 yards in total offense.
Although the Buckeye defense stopped Athens’ run game in the first half, holding Trae Williams to 42 yards, the Bulldogs decided to go to the air. Joe Burrow was 12-for-14 with 236 yards Friday night, playing minimally in the second half. A 34-yard Burrow touchdown pass to Adam Luehrman took the wind out of the Buckeyes’ momentum.
In the Bulldogs’ next drive, Burrow juked some defenders and willed his way into the end zone on the ground for his 100th career touchdown. Williams also ended the game one step closer to a milestone in his career, rushing for his 49th touchdown during the first quarter.
Halfway through the second quarter, Athens’ offense went into long ball mode. Burrow first found Ryan Luehrman for a 52-yard touchdown bomb along the Athens sideline. The wide receiver had 120 receiving yards for the Bulldogs.
On their following drive, the Bulldogs reversed their last touchdown play and gave their wide receiver a chance to air it out. Ryan Luehrman tossed a 64-yard trick pass to his quarterback, Burrow.
Yet another touchdown pass from Burrow to Sean Van Der Ven ended the first half, with the Bulldogs on top, 42-6.
The final 2:41 of the game was not played, as Nelsonville-York’s Connor Blake was carted off with an injury. Jason Arkley of the Athens Messenger tweeted that Blake’s injury was “’a stinger’ with numbness in the neck/shoulder area.”
Before Athens took the Rotary Award, the Buckeyes got on top during their first drive of the game, which is no simple feat against the hard-hitting Bulldog defense.
The young Nelsonville squad ran a balanced offense, letting freshman running back Alex Mount pull most of the weight. He finished the night with two touchdowns and 135 yards. His efforts were small in comparison to Athens’ whopping 191 yards on the ground.
The Athens Bulldogs now look to the postseason and eagerly await the news of their next opponent in their quest for a state title.