Athens 55, Columbia 6: Athens jumped out to a 35-0 lead after the first quarter and cruised to a big victory over Columbia in a Class 6A, Region 7 matchup Friday.
With the win, Athens (6-1, 4-0) clinches no worse than second place in the region and is guaranteed a first-round home playoff game. It will be the first time the Golden Eagles have hosted a first-round game since 2005. Columbia fell to 0-7 overall and 0-4 in region play.
Jaelen Cates got the scoring started with an 11-yard touchdown run before Braden Gross scored on a 12-yard run to put the Golden Eagles up 14-0.
Gross added to the score with a two-yard run, and Julius Mayberry gave Athens a 28-0 lead with a 26-yard scoring run. Gross then capped the first-quarter scoring with his third touchdown of the night, this one a 17-yard gallop.
Athens added to its lead in the second quarter when Dawson Mack scored on a two-yard run. The Golden Eagles then took a 48-6 lead in the third quarter on a 20-yard touchdown run by Dylan Roper.
Athens closed the scoring in the fourth quarter when Cam Anderson intercepted a pass and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown.
Quarterback Jordan Scott was 5 of 7 passing for 72 yards, while Gross had four carries for 48 yards and three touchdowns. Myles Fewell and Keenan Hambrick each had two receptions for 33 yards.
Athens will travel to play Muscle Shoals next week in a battle of the two undefeated teams in the region. The winner will take home the region championship.
East Limestone 35, Ardmore 7: The Indians managed to get back in the win column thanks to the help of DJ Davis. Davis accounted for two touchdowns while rushing 11 times for 83 yards. He scored on runs of one and five yards.
Also scoring for East Limestone were TJ Tyson, who intercepted an Ardmore pass and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown. Kollin Swart caught a two-yard pass from quarterback Dillon Parris to round out the scoring.
Conner Harbin raced 16-yards for the lone Ardmore touchdown of the night.
The win is East Limestone's first since the season-opener against West Limestone in August.
Priceville 37, North Jackson 36: Priceville converted a 2-point conversion to win the game after running back Jerry Burton made it 36-35 with a touchdown run with 13 seconds left.
The Bulldogs trailed 28-8 with three minutes left in the first half before rallying to earn their fourth region win of the season.
Burton continued his hot start to the season. He rushed for 282 yards and four touchdowns. Fellow running back Jaxon Cross had 115 total yards (75 yards rushing, 40 yards receiving). He converted the game-winning 2-point conversion and had an interception. Quarterback Wyatt Hurt added a rushing touchdown for Priceville.
Priceville (5-2, 4-1) has two region games left, against DAR and West Morgan. The DAR game next week will be its third road game in a row.
Fairview 35, West Morgan 28: West Morgan scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns but it wasn’t enough to rally past Fairview in Class 4A, Region 7 play.
Fairview led 21-14 at the half and 28-14 after three quarters. The Rebels scored on a 29-yard pass from Glavine Segars to Jakobe Fletcher and a two-yard run by Cade Alexander, but a Tyler Simmons touchdown run with 4:44 to play put the game out of reach.
Segars and Fletcher got West Morgan on the board first, connecting on an 85-yard touchdown pass less than a minute into the first quarter.
Fairview scored the next 14 points before Alexander found the end zone from a yard out to tie the game at 14 with 1:29 left in the second quarter.
Fairview scored less than a minute later to take the lead into halftime.
Segars finished 15 of 23 passing for 250 yards. Adam Lucas led the Rebels with 74 rushing yards on 19 carries.
Fairview’s Tyvn Ellis had 100 yards on 15 carries.
West Morgan (2-6, 1-4) continues region play next week against North Jackson.
Rogers 23, West Limestone 19: The Pirates scored with 29 seconds left in the game, upsetting the Wildcats on their home turf. The victory was Rogers' first Class 4A, Region 8 win this season, while West Limestone falls to 2-2.
River Helms had both West Limestone touchdowns. The Wildcats also had a 28-yard field goal and managed to get a safety thanks to the help of a high Rogers snap early in the third.
West Limestone travels to Brooks next Friday.