ROCHESTER — The Athens duo of freshman Sara Bronson and junior Emma
Bronson, and Waverly freshman Harper Minaker all finished in the top 20
in the Small Schools race at the prestigious McQuaid Invitational here
Saturday at the Genesee Valley Park.
Athens finished 18th in the team standings in a race that featured 30 complete teams, and a field of 260 runners.
“McQuaid is always a great experience for the kids,” said Athens coach Scott Riley. “It’s the largest field size they compete in all season.
“This gives all the kids other runners to race with throughout their race,” he noted. “Saturday was no different, and we saw strong efforts from all the kids as we head into the last few weeks of the regular season.
“These were very competitive races with schools from all around the region,” added Riley.
Sara Bronson finished 12th in 20:01.5, and junior Emma Bronson was 16th in 20:13.4 to lead the Lady Wildcats, while sophomore Thea Bentley was 147th in 24:12.0, sophomore Emily Henderson was 215th in 26:17.3, and sophomore Cailyn Conklin was 217th in 26:24.0.
Minaker led the Lady Wolverines with a 23rd-place finish in 20:28.9, while sophomore Elizabeth Vaughn was 62nd in 22:02.6, senior Olivia Nittinger was 126th in 23:40.3, and sophomore Ally Barrett was 210th in 26:02.1.
JUNIOR HIGH RACE
Athens finished 17th out of 21 complete teams, while Waverly was incomplete. There were 181 runners in the field.
Waverly 7th-grader Lauren Gorsline finished 15th in a time of 10:57.4, while 7th-grader Taylor Sinsabaugh was 82nd in 13:11.2, and 8th-grader Sophie Williams was 134th in 14:51.0.
Eighth-grader Addison Bruns finished 16th in 10:58.6 to lead the junior ‘Cats, while 8th-grader Olivia Cheresnowsky was 67th in 12:39.9, 8th-grader Kayla Marshall was 97th in 13:34.6, 8th-grader Victoria Gao was 100th in 13:40.9, and 8th-grader Madeline Henderson was 170th in 18:22.2.
ROCHESTER — Senior Matt Gorsline finished 16th to lead Athens to a
seventh-place finish in its Small Schools race at the prestigious
McQuaid Invitational here Saturday at the Genesee Valley Park.
Waverly senior Nate Ackley finished 30th in a race that featured 38 complete teams, and a field of 317 runners.
We always look forward to going to McQuaid, it is a great opportunity for our kids to test themselves against really top-flight competition,” said Athens coach Mike Bronson. “We had a really successful day, the boys placed seventh as a team, which is our best team showing at McQuaid.
“Matt Gorsline placed higher than any Athens boy has in the years we have been attending,” noted Bronson. “Ethan Denlinger ran a really good race, this is only his second year running, so 37th is a great finish.
“It is good to have Kyle Anthony back, he just needs another race or two to get back to full strength,” continued Bronson.
“In the junior high boys race, Eli Hicks ran a tremendous race, he's only a 7th-grader, but he finished ninth in his race and ended up running the 9th-fastest time of the day for all junior high boys,” added Bronson.
Southwestern (NY) won the team title with 131 points, while North East (Pa.) was second with 156, and Vernon-Verona-Sherrill (NY) and Alden (NY) tied four third with 170 points. Athens finished with 276 points.
Gorsline clocked in at in 17:00.9, while junior Ethan Denlinger was 37th in 17:48.0, freshman Carter Lewis was 53rd in 18:09.4, and senior Kyle Anthony was 77th in 18:29.6.
Senior Izaak Hobday finished 110th in a time of 19:06.3 for the Wildcats, while sophomore Nate Prickitt was 115th in 19:15.6, and senior Sander Bertsch was 138th in 19:37.9
Ackley clocked in at 17:41.8, while senior Sam VanDyke was 223rd in 21:09.6, and sophomore Brayden Hurd was 239th in 21:33.2
BOYS JV RACE
Athens finished 20th out of 21 complete teams. There were 213 competitors in the field.
Freshman Aiden Oldryod led the junior ‘Cats with a 138th-place finish in 22:12.9, while senior Brendan Jones was 145th in 22:32.4, freshman Pierce Oldroyd was 159th in 23:37.6, freshman Ryan Gorman was 184th in 25:19.3, and freshman Lohith Kinthala was 206th in 28:09.1.
JUNIOR HIGH RACE
There were 18 complete teams and 212 runners in the field in the junior high race. Athens and Waverly both were incomplete.
Seventh-grader Eli Hicks led Athens with a ninth-place finish in a time of 8:28.8, while 8th-grader Charan Venkataswamy was 72nd in 10:02.1, and 8th-grader Arayan Gaur was 192nd in 13:53.3.
Seventh-grader Chase Hine led Waverly with a 47th-place finish in a time of 9:26.0, while 8th-grader Finn Wiliams was 62nd in 9:45.9, and 7th-grader Mark Myers was 191st in 13:51.6.
HUGHESVILLE — It was a night of big plays for Athens, which scored five
TDs on plays of 34 yards or more, in a 50-0 demolition of Hughesville
here Friday night in non-league football action.
“We came in and we executed,” said Athens coach Jack Young. “We got sloppy a couple times, but we made plays. That is what good teams have to do.”
The Athens defense made the first big play of the game, stopping the Spartans on downs at their own 45 on the first possession of the contest.
Junior QB Mason Lister put the Wildcats on the board quickly, connecting with senior Karter Rude on a 45-yard TD pass on their first play from scrimmage. Senior Shayne Reid’s PAT kick made it 7-0 with 8:06 remaining in the first quarter.
The Spartans put together their best drove of the night on their next possession, behind the hard running of Brenden Knight, but missed a 29-yard field.
Athens took over at its own 20, and Reid broke loose on an 80-yard TD run on the the first play of the possession. Reid tacked on the extra point to make it 14-0 with 3:06 left in the first quarter.
On the first play of the second quarter, Rude intercepted a long pass at the Wildcat goal line, and returned it to the Athens 45.
The Wildcats put together a 10-play drive, capped by a 10-yard TD run by Reid, whose PAT kick made it 21-0 with 5:46 remaining in the first half.
Athens’ first two possessions in the second half ended in frustration.
The Wildcats were stopped at the Hughesville 1 on its first possession, then missed a 28-yard field goal on its second.
Moments later, however, a big hit resulted in a fumble, which Hughesville recovered in the end zone for a safety that gave Athens a 23-0 lead.
The rest of the game was an avalanche of points for the Wildcats.
Athens took the ensuing free kick, and drove for a score. Reid capped the drive with a 23-yard TD reception from Lister to make it 30-0 with 2:39 left in the third quarter.
The Spartans returned the ensuing kickoff into Wildcat territory, but the Athens defense shut down the possession quickly.
Athens put together a five-minute drive, capped by a 34-yard TD connection from Lister to 6-5 senior J.J. Babcock to make it 36-0 with 9:32 remaining in the contest.
After a Jared Peterson interception on Hughesville’s next possession gave the Wildcats the ball back, junior Caleb Nichols broke loose on a 70-yard TD run with 6:51 left in the game.
The Athens defense got the ball back one last time, and freshman Kolsen Keathley found paydirt on a 40-yard TD run. Reid’s seventh PAT in eight attempts made it 50-0 with 1:35 remaining.
The Wildcat ground game churned out 321 yards on 31 carries. Reid led the way with 185 yards and two TDs on 17 carries, while Nichols added 81 yards and one TD on three carries, and Keathley chipped in with 41 yards and one TD on two carries.
Lister completed 11 of 16 passes for 203 yards and three TDs, without being intercepted.
Babcock led Athens with four catches for 63 yards and one TD, while Reid had four receptions for 60 yards and one TD, and Rude added three grabs for 76 yards and one TD.
Knight led Hughesville with 129 rushing yards on 27 carries.
Athens, now 4-2, hosts NTL Large School rival North Penn-Mansfield Friday.
TROY — Athens fended off a late comeback bid to post a 3-1 win over Troy
here Thursday night in NTL Large School volleyball action.
“The girls, as a team, played really well,” said Athens coach Heather Hanson. “It was super-refreshing to watch them play with more relentlessness.”
Hanson said the Lady Wildcats made a couple of adjustments after Tuesday’s loss.
“We tried a couple different things tonight, and that seemed to help out,” she said. “I was glad to hear them be so loud, especially with a super-loud Troy crowd.”
The Lady Wildcats won the first two sets by scores of 25-17 and 25-15, but the Lady Trojans forced a fourth set with a 25-18 win in the third set. Athens closed out the match with a 25-20 victory.
Jenny Ryan led Athens seven points — all aces, 14 kills, 12 setter assists, and 18 dig, while Ally Martin had 12 points, six kills, and 12 digs, and Kassie Babcock had eight points, six kills, and 11 digs.
Taylor Walker had four points, five kills, and 11 digs in the win, while Braelyn Wood had four points, six assists, two kills, and 13 digs, Cassy Friend added three points (three aces), and four digs, Ella Coyle recorded 12 digs, and Cailin McDaniel chipped in with one block.
Athens, now 3-4, returns to action Tuesday when it hosts North Penn-Liberty.
EAGLES MERE, Pa. — Sayre senior Kannon VanDuzer led a trio of Valley
golfers in the top 20 Thursday afternoon in Day 1 of the District 4,
Class AA boys golf championships here at the Eagles Mere Country Club.
VanDuzer shot an 88 on the 5,890-yard, par-71 course, and is in a four-way tie for seventh place.
Athens junior Cameron Sullivan shot a 93 and is tied for 14th, and Athens sophomore Evan Cooper shot a 94 and is in a four-way tie for 16th in the 52-player field.
The top seven after Saturday’s second round will advance to Regionals.
Sayre senior Dylan Seck carded a 107 and is tied for 33rd place, while Athens sophomore Nicholas Jacob shot a 109 and is tied for 36th, and Athens freshman Dylan Saxon had a 110 and is tied for 38th.
Sayre junior Colton Watkins and sophomore Jackson Hubbard shot 116 and 117, respectively, while Athens sophomore Lucas Kraft had a 121.
Saturday’s second round tees off at noon.
ATHENS — Athens played state-ranked Maine-Endwell even for nearly 47
minutes, but the Spartans scored three goals in a 10-minute span on its
way to a 4-1 win here Thursday night in non-league boys soccer action at
William Napierala scored about seven minutes into the game to give M-E a quick 1-0 lead, but the Wildcats kept the high-scoring Spartans, ranked second in Class A in New York state, off the board for the remainder of the first half.
With 6 minutes remaining in the first half, senior Mason Hughey made a strong run down the left flank, and fired a shot to the far post that eluded the keeper and found the net to tie the game at 1-1.
With about 33 minutes left in the contest, Jack Colling gave M-E a 2-1 lead with a penalty kick, and 5 1/2 minutes later, Naperala scored again to make it 3-1.
With 23 minutes remaining, Justin Coleman added an insurance goal to provide the final margin.
M-E had a 14-3 advantage in shots-on-goal, and a 4-3 edge in corner kicks.
Levi Kuhns registered seven saves in net for the Wildcats.
Athens, now 5-6, returns to action Saturday morning when it hosts NTL rival North Penn-Liberty.
ATHENS — Wyalusing won a pair of close decisions, then fought off an
Athens comeback bid in a 3-1 win here Tuesday night in NTL volleyball
The Lady Rams won the first two sets by scores of 25-20 and 25-22, before the Lady Wildcats extended the match with a 25-19 win in the third set. Wylausing closed out the match with a 25-20 victory in the fourth set.
“We are having moments here and there,” said Athens coach Heather Hanson. “However, in between those moments. the opponent is getting 4 to 6 points, so we are going to have to figure out a way to break it up.
“It's not unforced errors,” she added. “It seems like we are making lots of forced errors and that really brings morale down. We need to believe in 'together we are amazing' versus 'Look at what I did.’”
Jenny Ryan led Athens with eight service pints, including three aces, a team-high 13 kills, 18 digs, and 14 setter assists, while Caddy Friend had eight points (three aces), seven kills, and four digs, and Kassie Babcock had eight points, four digs, and three kills, and one block.
Taylor Walker had seven points, four digs, and three kills for the Lady Wildcats, while Braelynn Wood had seven points, four digs, and three kills, Ally Martin had five points, including four aces, six kills, and seven digs, Ella Coyle had two points, and 10 digs, and Cailin McDaniel chipped in with two digs.
Athens, now 2-4, returns to action Thursday at Troy.
ATHENS — Senior Hannah Walker netted a hat trick, and junior Alli Thoman
had two goals and two assists to lead Athens a 5-0 win over Towanda in
its annual “Pink Out” game here Tuesday evening in NTL girls soccer
The “Pink Out” game is played annually each year to honor the memory of former Athens Area standout Sarah Reid, a 2021 graduate who was tragically killed in an auto accident shortly after graduation.
Walker scored her first goal, off a feed from Thoman, gave the Lady Wildcats a 1-0 lead in the 8th minutes, but Towanda’s Kelsea Allen-Smith scored about 4 1/2 minutes later to tie the game at 1-1.
Midway through the half, Walker took a through-ball from Thoman and beat the keeper to make it 2-1.
Thoman tacked on unassisted goal to give the Lady Wildcats a 3-1 halftime lead.
About 6 1/2 minutes after the intermission, Thoman scored on a header to make it 4-1. Waker and freshman Addison Wheeler were both credited with assists.
Walker capped the scoring late in the game with a direct kick from 25 yards out.
Towanda had a 10-9 edge in shots-on-goal, while Athens had a 4-3 advantage in corner kicks.
Junior Karlee Bartlow recorded nine saves in net for Athens.
Athens improves to 5-0 in league play, and 6-4 overall.
The Lady Wildcats return to action Oct. 5 when it hosts Wyalusing.
ATHENS — The Bronson sisters — junior Emma and freshman Sara — finished
1-2, and the Athens boys once again flashed their depth as both teams
logged wins over Wellsboro and North Penn-Mansfield here Tuesday
afternoon in NTL cross country action at Round Top Park.
Athens 20, NP-Mansfield 41
Athens 17, Wellsboro 43
North Penn-Mansfield’s Noah Sheddon earned the victory, but Athens, still without its top runner — senior Kyle Anthony, had five of the next seven runners to cross the finish line to post bigs wins over Wellsboro and NP-M.
Sheldon clocked in at 16:51, with Athens senior Matt Gorsline second in 17:55, junior Ethan Denlinger third in 18:08, and freshman Carter Lewis was fourth in 19:41.
Junior Nate Prickitt was sixth in 20:03, senior Isaak Hobday was seventh in 20:18. senior Sander Bertsch was ninth in 21:06, and freshman Lohith Kinthala was 13th in 32:40.
“Today was a good day for the boys,” said Athens boys coach Mike Bronson.
“The junior high boys had a really nice team race with five of the first six finishers,” he noted. “The varsity guys put in a solid, workmanlike effort.
“As they have all season, Matt (Gorsline) and Ethan (Denlinger) led the team up front and then our pack of guys filled in,” he added. “We got some good work in today and are looking forward to racing at the McQuaid Invitational this weekend.”
Athens 20, Wellsboro 35
Athens 26, NP-Mansfield 29
Emma Bronson and Sara Bronson finished 1-2 with identical times of 22:26 to lead the Lady Wildcats to a pair of wins.
Sophomore Thea Bentley was fourth in 24:43, while sophomore Cailyn Conklin was 11th in 27:37, sophomore Emily Hendershot was 12th in 27:52, and Ruby Kinsman was 20th in 32:43.
“The girls teams all picked up big wins today,” said Athens girls coach Scott Riley.
“The junior high was led by Addison Bruns and Olivia Cheresnowsky, with Victoria (Gao) and Kayla (Marshall) we close behind to create a close pack.
For the varsity, Emma and Sara Bronson led the way,” noted Riley. “Thea Bentley had a big race today to help scoring.
“Cailyn (Conklin) and Emily (Hendershot) ran together to close out the top five, and put the team in a good position,” he added. “Ruby Kinsman ran a great first race of the season on a tough course.”
JUNIOR HIGH BOYS
Athens 15, NP-Mansfield 50
Athens 17, Wellsboro 40
Graham Wanck won the junior high boys race, and four of his Athens teammates finished third through sixth, respectively, to lead the junior Wildcats to a pair of big wins.
Wanck clocked in at 10:28, while Eli Hicks finished third in 11:00, Ty Lezak was fourth in 12:19, Zach Fisher was fifth in 12:41, and Charan Venkataswamy was sixth in 13:09.
Isaac Roy (14:56), Andrew DeForrest (15:30), and Arayan Guar (19:15) finished 10th through 12th, respectively, for Athens.
JUNIOR HIGH GIRLS
Athens 23, NP-Mansfield 32
Athens 14, Wellsboro 22
Athens had four runners in the top six, led by second-place finisher Addison Bruns, to pull out wins in modified scoring.
Bruns clocked in at 12:35, while Olivia Cheresnowsky was fourth in 14:29, Victoria Gao was fifth in 15:14, and Kayla Marshall was sixth in 15:30.
Athens returns to action Saturday at the prestigious McQuaid Invitational in Rochester.
CORNING — Corning scored 49 seconds into the match, and cruised to a 6-0
win over Athens here Tuesday night in non-league boys soccer action.
Carter Rosno, off a feed from Jaylen King, gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead in the first minute, then scored about three minutes later, on an assist from Aidan Crane, to make it 2-0.
Luke Johns, off a feed from Rosno, made it 3-0 midway through the first half.
Crane finished off the first-half scoring late in the first half, off another assist from Rosno.
Lenard Jensen and Micah Cornfield added second-half goals for the Hawks. rosin recorded his third assist on Jensen’s goal, and Johns had an assist on the final goal of the game.
Corning had a 19-2 advantage in shots-on-goal, and an 8-0 edge in corner kicks.
Junior Grant Liechty registered 11 saves in net for the Wildcats.
Athens falls to 5-5 on the season.
The Wildcats host powerhouse Maine-Endwell Thursday.
WELLSBORO — Senior Hannah Walker scored one goal, and assisted on the
other to lead Athens to a 2-0 win over Wellsboro here Monday afternoon
in NTL girls soccer action.
With the win, Athens improves to 4-0 in league play, and leads the NTL by 1 game over Wyalusing.
Overall, the Lady Wildcats are 5-4, with losses to Vestal, Fayetteville-Manlius, and New Hartford, as well as a 6-1 loss at Shikellamy Saturday.
Athens coach Rich Pitts said his team’s tough non-league slate paid dividends in the win.
“I thought we had good possession, and our build-up was pretty good,” he said. “And, I thought our speed of play was better because of the tough games we’ve been playing.
“We came out today after a tough game Saturday, but the speed of play for us was on, and I thought that showed through for the whole match,” added Pitts.
Athens took the lead in the 8th minute when Walker drove toward the end line, and sent a pass into the box, where junior Alli Thoman one-touched it past the Wellsboro keeper.
“We talked about wanting to test (Wellsboro) down the flank a little bit,” said Pitts. “And, we switched our formation from what we played them last time. We played a 4-4-2 last time, and today went back to a 4-5-1.
“We got into space, and Hannah (Walker) was able to beat the girl around the corner,” added Pitts. “She picked her head up and Alli (Thoman) made a great driving run to it, got her foot on it, and knocked it in. It was a great goal.”
With 6:11 remaining in the first half, Walker drove home a free kick from just outside the 18 to make it 2-0.
“That’s Walker’s third free kick goal,” said Pitts. “I would have liked it a little farther to the far post, but it was a good stiff hit. It was a nice goal.”
Athens had a 13-4 advantage in shots-on-goal, and a 4-1 edge in corner kicks.
Pitts paid props to Wellsboro keeper Lilly Abadi, who had 11 saves.
“Last time we played them, we had a lot of good chances, but we weren’t clinical enough in front of the net and put balls on the frame,” said Pitts. “We talked about it on the bus ride here, that we had to test (Abadi) … I thought she stood on her head tonight.
“They play good defense in front of her,” added Pitts. “They’re very courageous and throw their bodies in front of ball so things don’t get to her, but when things get to her, she’s good. She had a great game tonight."
Athens travels to Towanda tonight.
ATHENS — Athens scored four goals in the second half to pull away from
Northeast Bradford in a 5-0 win here Monday afternoon in NTL boys soccer
With the win, the Wildcats improve to 4-1 in league play, and knock the Panthers, now 3-1-1 in the NTL, from the ranks of the unbeaten. Wellsboro leads the league with a 4-0-1 record.
After more than 28 minutes of scoreless action to start the game, senior Daniel Horton put the Wildcats on the board with 10:30 remaining in the first half.
Senior Mason Hughey made it 2-0 with 27:10 remaining in the contest, and junior Brayden Post scored to up the lead to 3-0 about eight minutes later.
With 14:05 remaining, senior Tucker Brown gave Athens a 4-0 lead, and Hughey capped the scoring with 9:23 left in the game.
Athens had a 13-4 advantage in shots-on-goal, and a 3-2 edge in corner kicks.
Grant Liechty recorded three saves for the Wildcats.
Athens, now 5-4 overall, travels to Corning Tuesday.
SUNBURY, Pa. — Athens took the early lead, but Shikellamy scored three
quick goals late in the first half, then three more late in the game on
its way to a 6-1 win here Saturday afternoon in non-league girls soccer
“The first half of both halves we played really well and we were ahead early,” said Athens coach Rich Pitts. “But we made some mistakes and it continues to cost us goals against the good teams.
“Compare this weekend to last weekend though, and we are stringing longer periods of good play together as we head toward league play and districts,” added Pitts.
Freshman Addison Wheeler collected a rebound off a hard shot, and gave Athens an early 1-0 lead, but Shik’s Averi Dodge scored the first of her four goals in the 17th minutes to tie the game.
Wiley Egan scored about five minutes later, and Dodge scored again in the 29th minute to give the Lady Braves a 3-1 lead it would carry into the intermission.
With 16 minutes remaining in the game, Dodge finished off her hat trick to make it 4-1.
McKenna Zellers scored three minutes later for Shik, and Dodge capped the scoring with 5 minutes remaining in the contest.
Shik had an 18-4 advantage in shots-on-goal, and a 4-1 edge in corner kicks.
Junior Karlee Bartlow recorded 12 saves in net for the Lady Wildcats.
Athens, now 4-4, returns to action Monday at Wellsboro.
OWEGO — Freshman Sara Bronson and junior Emma Bronson finished 3-4 in
the girls race, and senior Matt Gorsline and junior Ethan Denlinger each
finished in the top 10 in the boys race to pace the Athens contingent
here Saturday morning in the Large School race at the Owego Cross
Sara Bronson clocked in 20:18.1, and Emma Bronson finished in 20:56.6, well off the pace of Bainbridge-Guilford / Afton / Harpursville standout Ethne Degan, who won in a time of 19:20.5, and runner-up, Owego 8th-grader Jaelyn Chrysler, who finished in 19:37.5.
Sophomores Cailyn Conklin (27:20.7), and Emily Henderson (27:25.4) finished 36th and 37th, respectively, for the Lady Wildcats, who did not field enough runners for a complete team.
Gorsline finished fifth in 17:24.3, and Denlinger was seventh in 17:47.7 to lead the Wildcats to a third-place finish in the team standings.
Again competing without their top runner (senior Kyle Anthony), the Wildcats finished with 92 placement points. Vestal won the team title with 38 points, and Binghamton was second with 68.
Freshman Carter Lewis was 22nd for the Wildcats i 19:11.9, while junior Nate Prickitt was 39th in 19:29.6, and freshman Ethan Hicks (19:36.7) and senior Izaak Hobday (19:41.4) were 33rd nd 34th, respectively. Senior Sander Bertsch was 42nd in 20:01.6.
Freshman Aiden Oldroyd finished 14th in the JV race in a field of 56 runners in a time of 21:46.7, while senior Brendan Jones was 17th in 22:01.2, and freshman Pierce Oldroyyd was 25th in 23:39.8.
Freshman Lohith Kinthala was 48th in 29:34.7.
ATHENS — Athens scored on all seven of its first-half possessions en
route to a 44-0 halftime lead, and a 46-6 win over Wyalusing here Friday
night in NTL Large School Division football action at Alumni Stadium.
The Wildcats led 14-0 less than five minutes into the contest.
“We talked about starting fast,” said Athens coach Jack Young. “We wanted to do some no-huddle stuff, and play fast.
“We did exactly what we wrote up.
“We took a little bit of a beating up front last week, and we didn’t execute real well on either side of the ball,” noted Young.
“Our goal this week was to be 1-0 and to execute better,” he added. “I think we did that.”
After forcing Wyalusing into a three-and-out, Athens took over at its 45 on its first possession of the night.
Senior tailback Shayne Reid carried the ball four times for 27 yards, and caught a 9-yard pass from junior QB Mason Lister to move the ball to the Wyalusing 17.
Reid then bobbed-and-weaved his way through the Ram defense on a 17-yard TD run, then added the extra point to make it 7-0 with 7:31 remaining in the first quarter.
Things went from bad to worse on Wyalusing’s first play following the ensuing kickoff.
QB Blake Morningstar was flushed out of the pocket, and threw a ball up for grabs. Senior linebacker Troy Jennings picked off the pass and returned it 15 yards to the Ram 32.
The Wildcat pressure on Morningstar was a recurring theme throughout the game.
“We talked about putting pressure on him,” said Young. “(Morningstar) is not a runner, he’s not going to take off with it.
“We wanted to be in his face, and make him uncomfortable.
“He didn’t have a couple of his weapons with him tonight, but at the same time I thought we executed much better,” added Young.
The Wildcats needed just one play to add to their lead as Lister found senior wideout Karter Rude near the goal line for a 32-yard TD strike. Reid again split the uprights to make it 14-0 with 7:12 remaining in the first quarter.
After picking up its initial first down of the contest on its next possession, Wyalusing turned the ball over on downs at its 42.
Athens needed just four plays to find paydirt this time. Reid started the drive with a 13-yard run, and capped it with a 3-yard TD run. In between, a scrambling Lister found Rude near the sidelines with a 26-yard pass to the Ram 3.
Reid’s PAT kick made it 21-0 with 2:56 remaining in the first quarter.
Nolan Oswald returned the ensuing kick 37 yards yards to the Athens 49, but the Rams failed to pick up a first down. A 31-yard punt by Morningstar pinned the Wildcats at their own 18.
The Wildcats quickly moved the ball down the field on a drive that featured runs of 8 and 31 yards by Rude, and 11-yard run by Reid, a 9-yard run by Jennings, and an 8-yard pass from Lister to Babcock, but a pair of penalties bogged the drive down at the Wyalusing 22.
Reid’s 39-yard field goal gave Athens a 24-0 lead with 10:46 left in the first half.
On its ensuing possession, Wyalusing netted just seven yards on three plays and lined up to punt facing 4th-and-3 at its own 27. The Rams appeared on the brink of a long TD when a receiver broke free behind the Wildcat defense on the fake punt, but he was unable to haul the pass in, and Athens took over on downs.
Junior Caleb Nichols reeled off 26 yards on three carries, and Lister finished off the short scoring drive with a 1-yard TD to push the lead to 30-0 midway through the second quarter.
Wyalusing drove into the red zone on its next possession, but turned the ball over on downs at the Wildcat 18.
On second-and-10, Reid ripped off a 33-yard run to the Wyalusing 49, and two plays later — following a holding penalty — hauled in a 59-yard TD pass from Lister. Reid’s PAT made it 37-0 with 3:12 remaining in the first half.
The Wildcat defense forced another punt on Wyalusing’s next possession, and following a short punt, the Athens offense took over at its 49.
Athens needed just four plays to finish off the first-half scoring. The drive featured a 10-yard run by Reid, and a 23-yard pass to Rude, and culminated with a 15-yard pass from Lister to 6-5 J.J. Babcock, who won a jump ball in the back corner of the end zone for the score.
Reid’s extra point kick made it 44-0 with 11 seconds remaining in the half.
Reid rushed for 120 yards and two TDs on 11 carries in the first half, caught two passes for 69 yards and one TD, and booted a 39-yard field goal. He also knocked two kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks, and consistently pinned Wyalusing deep its own territory on kickoffs.
“Shayne Reid played a great game tonight,” said Young. “He ran hard, and he kicked the ball very well.
“He was out here yesterday kicking 50-yard field goals, and he hit a big one for us tonight.
“He is so talented, and he never takes a play off — in a game or in practice,” added Young.
Lister completed 9 of 14 passes for 182 yards and three TDs.
Rude, who also carried the ball twice for 39 yards, led all receivers with five grabs for 90 yards and one TD, and Babcock added two catches for 23 yards and one TD.
The second half was played entirely in running time.
The Wildcats tacked on a safety late in the game, while Wyalusing’s score came on a 5-yard TD pass from Morningstar to Oswald with 1:21 remaining in the contest.
Morningstar completed 9 of 31 passes for 73 yards and one TD, while being intercepted twice. Oswald led Rams receivers with five grabs for 24 yards, and Joey Gonsauls had two catches for 45 yards.
Adam Hunsinger led Wyalusing’s ground game with 15 carries for 49 yards.
Athens, now 3-2, returns to action Friday at Hughesville.