Dec

07

Posted by : admin | On : December 7, 2017

The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–The No. 22-ranked Athens Hornets made sure the home debut was exciting for the fans Tuesday, Dec. 5 in a 96-82 victory over the Jacksonville Indians.
This Hornets are back on the road until Dec. 15 when they host the Kaufman Lions.
Athens (6-1) returns to action in the opening round of the Great East Texas Shootout in Brownsboro. The tournament begins Dec. 7 for the Hornets as they face Bullard at 5 p.m. at the high school. The tournament runs through Dec. 9.
In the victory over Jacksonville, the Hornets were led by senior Miles Koehler with 25 points. Senior Chris Taylor had 24, Gary Lyons had 18, Javiry Bowman had 14, Rhe’Jhi Sherfield had seven, Cam Ray had six and Rowdy Godwin had two.
Jacksonville (0-3) was led by Deshun McCuin with 25 points. Jaeshun Bush had 16, Cason McCuin and Josh McDowell had nine, Casey Johnson and Brady Robinson had six and Lateris Castleberry had five. Steven Robertson, Will Chancey and Kyle Fuller had two.
Both teams opened on a hot start as Jacksonville took a 27-22 lead into the second quarter. The Indians took an 11-8 lead with 5:23 remaining as Deshun McCuin hit an old fashioned 3-point shot.
The Indians extended the lead to 16-8 before Ray hit one of two free throws to end the run.
Athens tied the game at 29 with 5:23 remaining in the first half as Bowman hit two free throws. The free throws were part of a 12-0 run by the Hornets. The final basket of the run came on a dunk by Lyons for the 36-29 lead.
Athens was able to take a 45-37 lead into the second half as Taylor had 17 points for the Hornets.
In the second half, Athens continued to find ways to disrupt the Indians defensively extending a 53-45 advantage into a 62-45 lead before a fast break layup by Bush.
In the fourth quarter, Athens extended its lead to 72-61 with 6:52 remaining on a fast break layup by Taylor.
Jacksonville would get to within eight at 87-79 with 1:59 remaining, but could not get any closer as Athens wrapped up the game on a 6-3 run for the 93-82 finale. Cason McCuin scored the final basket for the Indians.
Jacksonville returns to action Thursday through Saturday in the Central Heights Classic.

Dec

07

Posted by : admin | On : December 7, 2017

Gooden 2017 headshot CMYK
Special to The News
TERRELL–On Monday, State Representative Lance Gooden (R-Terrell) announced his run for Congress before an overflow crowd in Kaufman County at a rally celebrating property owners’ victory in an annexation battle that has raged on for months. A Dallas County city tried to fast track the annexation of land in Kaufman County and Rep. Gooden organized the successful opposition.
“Seven years ago, I ran for this seat in the Texas House because I was tired of do-nothing politicians in Austin who were failing to protect our freedoms, our property, our values, and our tax dollars,” Rep. Gooden said. “Since then, we have fought together to move the conservative agenda forward, and together we have delivered one victory after another for the families of rural Texas. There is no better example of the power of a dedicated group of conservatives than this victory over the big government forces who believed that our land belonged to them.”
Rep. Gooden, who represents the citizens of Henderson and Kaufman counties in Austin, has been widely recognized as one of the most effective leaders in the Texas House for his ability to turn sound, conservative policy into law.
A few of his legislative achievements during his three terms in the House of Representatives include:
• banning sanctuary cities in Texas and fully funding the most comprehensive state border security plan in the nation,
• successfully de-funding Planned Parenthood, banning partial birth abortion, and strengthening Texas’ Alternatives to Abortion program,
• writing and passing the state’s most conservative budget,
• crusading against Obamacare and voting to block its expansion into Texas,
• fighting for our local public schools and defeating a voucher plan that would have sent tax dollars to unaccountable entities,
• rescuing our retired teachers’ health insurance system from bankruptcy and collapse and
• defending religious liberty and successfully fighting to keep “Christ” in Christmas in Texas law.
“As proud as I am of the things we have achieved together in Austin, when I look at the Washington swamp, I see a political class of insiders in both parties who are failing the people they are intended to represent,” Rep. Gooden continued. “They have failed to secure our border in spite of Republican majorities. They have piled trillions of dollars of debt on the shoulders of the next generation, and now we learn they are secretly using tax dollars to settle sexual harassment claims against members of Congress. Yet they still can’t find the funds to properly care for our military veterans who have sacrificed so much for us. This is simply immoral, and I feel called to do something about it.”
“Make no mistake, the Washington establishment will not go quietly. They are already lining up behind their hand-picked candidates, many of whom do not even live in our district and who couldn’t find Alto or Elmo on a map if their lives depended on it.”
“We need a new Congressman of East Texas, by East Texas and for East Texas who understands the traditional values that we share, and who knows that our churches and our schools and our shops on Main Street are the lifeblood of our communities. Our way of life is sacred, and it is worth fighting to protect and defend for our children and our children’s children. With your support and your prayers, I am ready to go to Washington and do the same thing that I did in Austin – roll up my sleeves, fight for you, and win for you.”
Rep. Gooden has deep roots in Congressional District 5. He grew up in Terrell, graduated from Terrell High School, and earned degrees from the University of Texas. He works in business development, and his wife, Alexa, is a real estate agent. They live in Terrell where they attend the Rockwall and Brin Church of Christ. The Goodens are expecting their first child, a baby boy, in February.
Rep. Gooden rolled out endorsements of mayors and elected officials across the district who have encouraged him to run for Congress, including Athens Mayor Monte Montgomery, Chandler Mayor Libby Fulgham, Coffee City Mayor Pam Drost, Crandall Mayor Mike Parker, Eustace Mayor Dustin Shelton, Forney Mayor Rick Wilson, Gun Barrel City Mayor Jim Braswell, Kaufman Mayor Jeff Jordan, Kemp Mayor Laura Peace, Mabank Mayor Jeff Norman, Rosser Mayor Shannon Corder, Terrell Mayor D.J. Ory, Kaufman County Sheriff Bryan Beavers, Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse and Kaufman County District Attorney Erleigh Wiley.
Visit Gooden’s Facebook page at @lancegoodenfortexas for regular updates from the campaign trail.

Dec

07

Posted by : admin | On : December 7, 2017

The News Staff Reports
ELKHART–The Athens Lady Hornets won the girls’ title at the Elkhart tournament Dec. 2 with an 84-49 victory over Neches.
In the other games, Athens won 76-11 over Kennard and 58-45 over Cayuga.
In the title game, Athens was led by Mikayah McCollister with 21 points.
Bre’Nya Barker had 15, Raveon Rodriguez, Tamya Hubbard and Karlie Cook each had 10, Jazzmine Johnson had eight points, Hallie Williams had six and Kara Smith finished with four.
“We did what we set out to do, win the tournament,” Athens Head Coach Jeff Teague said. “And we did it in pretty dominating fashion beating our opponents by a combined score of 217-105, though the final two games were a much bigger challenge than those numbers might indicate.”
In the win over Cayuga, McCollister had 22 points.
Rodriguez and Barker had 10, Hubbard had eight, Williams had three, Cook and Johnson had two and Smith had one.
In the win over Kennard, McCollister registered 20 points.
Rodriguez had 16, Barker had 12, Hubbard had 10, Cook finished with seven and Smith had four.
Williams, Kiki Howard and Johnson each had two points.
The Lady Hornets return to action in the East Texas Shootout tournament starting Dec. 7 in Brownsboro, running through Dec. 9.

Nov

30

Posted by : admin | On : November 30, 2017

Coach Smiley TVCC CMYK
The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–Trinity Valley Community College Athletic Director/Head Football Coach Brad Smiley has announced his resignation to become offensive coordinator at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana.
Smiley will coach the Cardinals one final time Saturday, Dec. 2 at the C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl in Copperas Cove. The eighth-ranked and 8-3 Cardinals are scheduled to face No. 12 Garden City Community College, also 8-3, in an 11 a.m. kickoff.
The resignation is effective at the end of the current semester.
He will leave after an 11-year tenure at TVCC in which he became the all-time winningest head football coach in college history with a 68-39 record. He also is the longest-tenured at the position along with the late Carl Andress.
“Janna and I want to say thank so much to the Trinity Valley family and the Athens community for all of the love, support and friendship that you have given our family over the past 10 years,” Smiley said. “Words cannot express how grateful we are for allowing us to raise Ben and Clary in such a special place, that they will always consider home.
“Whether you were a neighbor, co-worker, colleague, football fan, Cardinal Club supporter, mentor, church family member, former player, former youth camper, child’s teacher or coach; you have made a lifelong impact on our family, and we will always be grateful. Go Cards!”
“Coach Smiley was a great role model that positively impacted the lives of student/athletes during his 11-year tenure at TVCC”, said College President Dr. Jerry King. “Coach Smiley and his family have been a tremendous asset to our college and our community and will always be part of the TVCC family.
“We wish Coach Smiley and his family the very best in this new opportunity. “
TVCC Vice President for Student Services Dr. Jay Kinzer echoed King’s sentiments.
“I would like to thank Brad for an outstanding job the past 11 years in leading TVCC athletics, football in particular, to becoming one of the premier programs in the country. His leadership and passion for TVCC and our student-athletes are second to none and have played a huge part in making TVCC the greatest college in the country,” Kinzer said.
The 2014 season at TVCC was the high-water mark of Smiley’s tenure. The Cardinals completed the third 12-0 season in school history and captured the SWJCFC, regional and Heart of Texas Bowl.
After the Cardinals’ record-setting and perfect season, Smiley was named JUCO National Coach of the Year by American Football Monthly magazine.
Smiley led the Cardinals to SWJCFC regular season titles the past five years, though the 2013 title was vacated by NJCAA sanctions, three regional titles and four bowl appearances during that span.
The Cardinals have appeared in the past 60 NJCAA polls, including a current streak of 20 straight times in the Top 10.
Upon his arrival as head coach in 2007, Smiley was no stranger to Athens, having served as offensive line and tight ends coach, as well as recruiting coordinator in the 1998 and 1999 seasons, for Cardinal Hall of Fame coach Scotty Conley. He was a part of the 1999 SWJCFC championship and 1999 Red River Bowl championship teams. His line helped pave the way for the conference’s leading rushing attack both seasons as well as ranking in the top five nationally.
Smiley came to TVCC after spending seven seasons coaching in New Orleans at Tulane University. During his tenure at Tulane, he was a part of an offensive staff that helped produce the university’s all-time leading passer, leading scorer and leading rusher as well as several all-time leading receivers. He was a part of the team’s 2002 Hawaii Bowl Championship, 2005 Disney’s Wide World of Sports Spirit Award and 2005 Football Writers of America Association Courage Award.
Smiley began his coaching career at his alma mater, Baylor University, as a student assistant in 1995. He then moved to Northwestern State and was a part of the 1997 Southland Football Conference Championship team helping NSU advance to the 1997 NCAA Division I-AA Championship Playoffs.
Smiley and his wife, Janna, have two children, Benjamin Andrew, 14 and Clary Ann, 12. He holds a BBA in Marketing from Baylor University (1995) and a Masters of Education from Northwestern State (1997).

Nov

30

Posted by : admin | On : November 30, 2017

Doyle Deason
The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse said a man is charged with the stabbing death of another man following an altercation Sunday in the Payne Springs area.
Doyle Wayne Deason, 65, was arrested Sunday morning after he confessed to stabbing Bryan Rodgers, 43, in the early hours of the morning.
Rodgers died a short while afterwards at the East Texas Medical Center in Gun Barrel City as the result of a single stab wound.
Hillhouse said the incident began to unfold before 5 a.m. when deputies were en route to a call about a suspicious person on Double Bridge Road in the Cherokee Shores Subdivision.
The person was reported carrying a butcher knife and seeking someone, who had stolen from him.
Shortly afterwards, a stabbing victim was reported near Double Bridge Road. The victim, Rodgers, was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead at 6:44 a.m.
At the scene on Huntoon Trail, law enforcement discovered a gun believed to be involved in the incident. Rodgers had walked to a neighbor’s residence on Double Bridge Road to seek aid.
Investigators followed leads to the suspect on Timber Road in the Timber Bay subdivision.
The suspect had suffered a minor gunshot wound and confessed to stabbing the victim. During an interview with investigators it was determined that Rodgers was not the person Deason was looking for.
Deason is charged with Murder and is being held with a $1,000,000 bond.

Nov

22

Posted by : admin | On : November 22, 2017

James Ray Cryer

Special to The News
ATHENS–After entering a plea of guilty in October, James Ray Cryer, Jr., 42, was sentenced by Judge Dan Moore of the 173rd District Court in Athens, to life in prison for Aggravated Sexual Assault. Cryer was also convicted of Unlawful Restraint, for which he received a sentence of 10 years.
Henderson County Sheriff’s Deputy Keon Mack, jailers Clayton Teel and Brittney Owens, along with the victim testified at the Nov. 8 sentencing hearing.
On Aug. 10, 2016, Cryer was “working security” at the Exxon game room in Dogwood City located in Smith County. Also present at the game room was a 60-year-old Frankston woman, who Cryer approached, asking for a ride home. After directing her into the Briarwood Bay subdivision, he directed her to a darkened street, where he grabbed her by the hair and held a knife to her throat, forcing her to perform a sexual act. He then ordered her to drive to a different location, where he intended to abuse her further.
As she drove slowly down the street, Henderson County Sheriff’s deputy Keon Mack passed the car going the opposite direction and noticed the car’s slow speed and failure to lower its lights from high beam. After turning around he also observed a defective tail light for which he initiated a traffic stop. When he got alongside the driver’s side window, Mack noticed the woman was extremely nervous and when asked if everything was OK, she whispered the words, “Help me.”
Recognizing the woman was possibly in danger, Mack had her step out and move to the rear of the vehicle, so she could tell him what was taking place. Shortly after that, he got Cryer out of the car, removed the knife and placed him under arrest.
The woman, visibly shaken and upset, told the deputy several times that he had saved her life, a belief which she reiterated to the court.
Both Teel and Owens testified about threats Cryer had made while in the Henderson County Jail. In particular, he had made the statement that if he got a life sentence, he would kill one of the [expletive] guards.
Assistant District Attorney Jessica Bargmann, who prosecuted the case for the State, introduced Cryer’s prior convictions for Aggravated Criminal Mischief, Sexual Assault, Unlawful Possession of a Deadly Weapon in a Penal Institution, and Possession of a Prohibited Item in a Correctional Facility. He was sentenced to 15 years for his first Sexual Assault in 1993 and while in prison, he received two additional felonies, resulting in his incarceration for a total of 23 years.
Cryer had been out for only 10 weeks before committing this assault.
Bargmann said that the sentence brought peace to the victim and justice for the community. “James Cryer has a long violent history, and a life sentence is the only way to ensure the continued safety of the public,” she said.
District Attorney Mark Hall commended Bargmann for an excellent job presenting the case, and was gratified that the court assessed a sentence that will keep Cryer in prison, and away from other potential victims for at least 30 years.
“When a person has been in prison over half his life, and then commits another violent crime immediately after getting out, you know that he can’t adapt to society. James Cryer is back where he belongs.”

Nov

16

Posted by : admin | On : November 16, 2017

The News Staff Reports
HENDERSON COUNTY–Voters across the state agreed to change the Texas State Constitution in seven propositions with fewer than 5 percent of registered voters casting ballots Tuesday. No statewide or county offices were on the ballot and few municipalities school districts or other taxing entities appeared either. .
The seven state propositions included:
• an exemption from ad valorem taxation of part of the market value of the residence homestead of a partially disabled veteran or surviving spouse if the homestead was donated by a charity for less than the market value. Prop 6 is similar but is applied to the surviving spouse of first responders who are killed in the line of duty
Prop 2 makes refinancing a home easier with more choices, which covers agricultural homesteads and lines of credit.
Prop 3 limits the service of appointed officials by the governor, restricting it to the legislative session.
Prop 4 allows the legislature to require a court to notify the attorney general o a challenge brought against a state statute, so the AG has opportunity to deend the statute.
Prop 5 authorizes the 10 Texas major league sports franchises that had charitable foundations to conduct charitable raffles. Prop 5 would expand that number to include hockey, basketball, football, baseball, soccer, motorsports, golf teams and minor leagues, as well as major leagues.
Prop 7 is similar as it allows credit unions and other financial institutions to award prizes by lot to promote savings.

Nov

16

Posted by : admin | On : November 16, 2017

Christina Roberts pins a commemorative ribbon on World War II Veteran Jesse Garrett. All the veterans attending the service were presented with ribbons, thanking them for their service.

Christina Roberts pins a commemorative ribbon on World War II Veteran Jesse Garrett. All the veterans attending the service were presented with ribbons, thanking them for their service.


By Denise York
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–The East Texas Arboretum and Botanical Society welcomed a crowd to the Annual Veterans Day Ceremony Nov. 10, where veterans, families and friends paid honor to veterans past and present.
Henderson County Judge Richard Sanders welcomed the veterans and family members and thanked those who journeyed out to support and honor the veterans. “I think about our freedoms, freedom of religion, right to bear arms, the right to assemble and our freedom of speech,” Sanders said and then asked the veterans who were able, to stand. “This is why we have these freedoms, the reason we can smell the sweet smell of freedom in this country.”
He went on to say, “This nation was founded on freedom, but it has taken the great sacrifice of these men and women to preserve our freedom.”
Athens Mayor Monte Montgomery gave the invocation and led the pledges to the American and Texas flags. Boy Scout Troop 343 members Gabe Carbajal and Ethan Kobelia posted the colors.
Second-generation U.S. Marine Veteran Michael Goodman who served two tours of duty overseas, said, “Today is a double honor for me as it is the official birthday of the Marine Corps., founded in a tavern 242 years ago.”
He went on to say, “As veterans, we took an oath to defend the constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic and to date, no one has delivered us of that oath.” Goodman pointed out that 7.3 percent of the population has served in the armed forces and 20 million veterans are alive today. “It is the mission of these veterans to carry the torch of freedom and pass it down to future generations, to be keepers of the oath.”
Goodman quoted Thomas Paine who said, “Those that want to reap the benefits of this great nation must bear the fatigue of supporting it.”
Featured speaker Representative Lance Gooden was unavailable to speak since he was at a hearing fighting against the forced annexation of Kaufman County land by the city of Mesquite. Athens City Councilman Ed McCain stood in his place, praising Gooden for his accomplishments in the past legislative session including reduced fees for license to carry permits and tax relief for disabled veterans.
McCain told the story of two Marines in his life, his grandfather and his brother. Colonel Warren McCain, his grandfather, who joined the Marine Corps in 1942, shortly after Pearl Harbor, after having served in the Army and getting his education. He went on to fight in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam. “He lived the American Dream, born in the dustbowl and went on to defend his country honorably. He is buried at Arlington Cemetery. This was always a huge source of pride for our family.”
A few months after Sept. 11, McCain’s brother Ryan felt the call to serve his country. McCain had taken on a fatherly role with his brother, so he was the one who took him to the recruiting depot and stood at Parris Island as he graduated.
“One day he called me and said he was going to Afghanistan. At that moment when the most important thing in my life was threatened, I began to understand the sacrifice. The message I would like to give our millionaire athletes who play children’s games on Sunday, is that if you felt for an instant, that terror I felt, you wouldn’t kneel during our National Anthem.”
McCain’s brother served his country and is now an air traffic controller.
South Athens Elementary fourth-graders, led by teacher Barbara Railsback, entertained the crowd with patriotic songs including a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem and “America the Beautiful.” Boy Scout Troop 343 presented a commemorative wreath from the Daniel McMahon Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Nov

08

Posted by : admin | On : November 8, 2017

Kenlie Alisabeth Pallett

Kaylee Dainelle Hall
The News Staff Reports
MABANK—The community of Cedar Creek Lake is in shock as the story of a mother who murdered her two daughters in the early morning hours of Nov. 2 continues to unfold.
The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the arrest of 29-year-old Sarah Nicole Henderson, who is charged with capital murder in the deaths of her two daughters Kaylee Danielle Hall, 7, and Kenlie Alisabeth Pallett, 5, both students of Southside Elementary School in Mabank.
According to Hillhouse, EMS contacted his office at 11:29 p.m. Wednesday night Nov. 1, asking for assistance with a possible suicidal female at a residence outside Payne Springs. The caller called again and said he no longer needed assistance, so EMS cancelled the call seven minutes later. Deputies were already enroute and arrived at the residence, at 11:45 p.m.
Hillhouse said a male and female told deputies they were fine and no one was in danger or jeopardy.
Nearly three hours later at 2:24 a.m., the last call came from Jake Henderson, whose call to 9-1-1. was tearful, “My wife just shot her kids.” He said he went to bed after everyone else had, or so he thought. The next thing he knew his wife was standing over him saying, “Babe, I just shot the kids.” In tapes of the 9-1-1 calls, Henderson can be heard in the background saying, “Babe, what have I done?”
Hillhouse reported the children were dead at the scene. “The family was asleep other than the mother is what we’re getting in the investigation,” Hillhouse said.
The Texas Rangers, Child Protective Services and the DA’s Office are assisting with the investigation. 173rd District Judge Dan Moore issued a search warrant for the residence. Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Kevin Pollock conducted the inquest and the bodies were transported to American Forensics in Dallas for examination. A firearm was recovered from the home.
Neighbors were questioned by investigators searching for a motive. Speculation was that the couple was having some financial difficulties and that she failed to get a job after an interview. Neighbors reported that Henderson had often spoken harshly to the children. A candlelight vigil was held at their school Nov. 2 as teachers, parents and students struggled to cope with the loss. Tearful parents and children were interviewed by television news reporters.
According to obituaries, Kaylee and Kenlie were inseparable; the two were sisters and best friends. They enjoyed dancing, swimming and riding their bicycles. Kaylee and Kenlie loved cheerleading and having their pictures taken and showing their beautiful smiles. They loved playing and spending time with their best friends Nadia, Katie and Alyiah.
Mabank ISD Superintendent Dr. Russell Marshall transferred all school counselors to Southside Thursday to lend support to staff and students. Substitute teachers were brought in to relieve staff members most closely affected by the deaths. “All campuses are pulling together to help. It’s what our school family does,” he said.
Sheriff Botie Hillhouse said in an interview, “Everybody wants to know why. I’d love to know why, but sometimes you never find the real reason why.”
Henderson confessed to the killing of her two daughters and is being held on a $2 million bond.
A GoFundMe page was created Nov. 2 under “Funeral funds for KayLee and Kenlie.” Funeral services were held Nov. 6, 2017 at Eubank Cedar Creek Memorial Chapel with a graveside service following at Eubank Cedar Creek Memorial Park. A candlelight service will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12 at the Gun Barrel City Park Pavilion for the two sisters.

Nov

02

Posted by : admin | On : November 2, 2017

IMG_2204 Athens FB #2 McBride CMYK

The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–The Athens Hornets had a hard time containing Crandall Pirates running back Tyson Gatewood in a 49-21 loss Friday.
In the loss to Crandall (4-4, 2-2 in district), Gatewood finished the game with 23 carries for 224 yards and two touchdowns.
“He (Gatewood) has been good,” Athens coach Paul Essary said. “We have been playing against him for three years. He has been good all three of these years. He is a good athlete and plays hard. He is fun to watch if you are not trying to stop him.”
Essary said even with the loss, he was proud of how the guys fought during the game.
“They played hard for the last senior night on Bruce Field,” Essary said. “I am proud of them and they played hard. It is always sad when you lose a senior class because you have put so much work together with them. You want them to go out on a win. We have been fortunate here, and it may be the first one that we have not been successful on. They played hard, and I am proud of their effort.”
The contest was senior night for the Hornets as 12 players were involved in their final game at Bruce Field.
Athens (2-7 overall, 1-4 in district play) is open Friday, and wraps up the regular season Nov. 10 on the road at Brownsboro. The Bears defeated Terrell, 42-20, Friday in Brownsboro.
“We will work and try to get better for that last ballgame at Brownsboro,” Essary said. “In open week, we focus on ourselves with fundamentals and trying to get healthy. It could be the last game, and I don’t know what the playoffs look like. Regardless of what it is, it is another game and we want to do our best. The guys will work hard, and the coaching staff will work hard.”
Gatewood scored the game’s opening touchdown on an eight-yard run with 4:17 remaining in the first quarter.
Athens took a 14-7 lead late in the second quarter on two touchdowns following fumbled kickoff returns by Kaufman.
The first score came on an 18-yard run by quarterback Xavius Fulton with 6:36 remaining in the first half.
The second came on a 33-yard pass from Andrew McBride to Gary Lyons with 4:58 left. Dakota Anderson booted both PAT’s good.
Crandall quarterback Josh Redding then added a five-yard TD run to tie the game at 14 with 1:57 remaining in the first half.
In the second half, McBride capped off a nice drive with a one-yard plunge to give Athens a 21-14 lead with 8:54 left in the third.
Crandall then scored the final 35 points to put the game out of reach. The Pirates had a 34-yard pass from Redding to Keionte Robertson and a one-yard run by Redding to end the third quarter at 28-21.
“We battled with them for almost three quarters,” Essary said. “We gave up some big plays, and penalties hurt us at crucial times. You get a couple of penalties and it got us off track. We need to be driving the football.”
In the fourth, Gatewood had a three-yard run, a 52-yard pass from Steven Dearman to Hayden Pruitt and a 15-yard run by Doneric Rivers for the 49-21 finale.
“We made a few mistakes and gave up a couple of big plays tonight,” the coach said. “They were able to capitalize, and Crandall is a good football team. They are close to winning about six-or-seven games right now. They are as close as can be right now.”
Athens was led by Jerquindon Taylor with six carries for 60 yards, while McBride had 17 carries for 49 yards. McBride was 1 of 2 passing for 19 yards, with the lone pass going to Taylor.