Troy Athens downs Troy High, moves game closer to playoff berth

By: Christian Davis | Troy Times | Published October 16, 2015

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TROY — Troy Athens football kept its playoff hopes alive and beat its crosstown rival in the process.

The Red Hawks handled Troy High 43-0 Oct. 16 at home in an Oakland Activities Association Red Division tilt.

The victory gives Athens five wins (5-3 overall, 5-2 Red), one away from an automatic berth to the postseason, something it last did in 2011.

“It was a good game for us to sharpen our skills and get ready for Week 9. By no means did we look past this week, it’s always a different week when you play your rival, they always show up, but we as a team, if we want to go to the playoffs and go far in the playoffs, we have to sharpen our skills,” Athens coach Josh Heppner said. “I think we had an opportunity to do that tonight.”

Athens’ first score came on its opening possession after a 12-yard run by running back Jake Vincent with 7:22 left in the first. Zack Ayote’s extra point made it 7-0.

Vincent then made his mark at quarterback. After an injury, Vincent went to the helm and again rushed in, this time from 2 yards out with 10:59 left in the half. On the ensuing extra point, Vincent now at holder, kept the snap and went around the end for the conversion to make it 15-0.

Two possessions later, Vincent threw an interception and quickly looked to redeem himself on defense. On the next play, he made an acrobatic catch, reaching back with one hand and hauling in the Troy throw.

“I was pretty angry that I just threw a pick and figured I needed to make a play and did what I could,” Vincent said.

The turnover set up a 4-yard rush by Curtis Hemingway with 2:08 left in the half to make it 22-0.

The Red Hawks then scored on their first play of the third quarter after a 47-yard run by Louis Kassak to make it 29-0.

John Staron made it 36-0 after a 24-yard rush less than two minutes later.

Kevin Hazen had the last score, via a 2-yard plunge to make it 43-0 with 2:02 left in the third.

“It feels awesome,” Vincent said. “Everyone has always doubted the Athens football program, and it feels awesome to have the support of the community and everyone behind us. We’re going to hopefully get a win next week and move on to the playoffs.”

The win marks the second time in school history that Athens has beat Troy three straight times (1999-2001). The Colts lead the all-time series 26-17.

Next week, the Red Hawks take on a team from the OAA White in a crossover still to be determined. 

The Colts fall to 0-8 (0-7 Red) and await their OAA White crossover opponent.

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