Function of Beauty

Athens falls to Central Mountain in shootout.

By: Rachel Rogers | Towanda Daily Review | October 26, 2013 | Photo courtesy Rachel Rogers


2013 Athens vs. Central Mountain FootballATHENS - The Athens Wildcats lost a heartbreaker to the visiting Wildcats of Central Mountain last night at home. Strong as it was, the Athens defense didn't quite make the cut when it came to winning the game.

The start the first quarter, Central Mountain would receive the ball on Athens' 49 yard line. Within eight plays, three key players for Central who took turns running the ball, set them up at Athens' 13. Quarterback Travis Turchetta tried a run around the right side, but was stopped short by junior Zane Vargason of Athens, who caused a fumble, which was recovered by his teammates.

Getting nowhere on offense, Athens' Troy Stivason sent a punt sailing 39 yards to set Central Mountain up at the Wildcats' 45 yard line. The first score of the night came an impressive three plays later, as Nigel English ran 39 yards in for the touchdown. Kathryn Myers' PAT was true, and Central went up, 7-0 with 3:40 left in the first quarter.

Things looked bright for Athens on their next drive, when on second and seven, Brandon Sturzenegger burst through the right side to race up the field for a 36 yard gain. Unfortunately, though, a run with no gain forced to Athens to settle for a field goal. Troy Stivason hit the 42-yarder and cut Central's lead, 7-3.

The beginning of the second quarter went in favor of the visiting team. On their first possession, they managed to rack up another three points. Kicker Kathryn Myers of the Central Mountain Wildcats kicked their first field goal of the night to extend their lead to 10-3 with only 8:47 left in the first half.

With their next drive, however, Athens answered back quickly. On second and ten on the visiting team's 32, Aaron Barry completed a touchdown pass to Troy Stivason with 6:12 left. Stivason's PAT was good, and the game was tied, 10-10.

There was barely time for Athens to celebrate when Central picked up another six points. Although a flag and two incomplete passes put Central Mountain at the Wildcat 27 yard line on fourth and fourteen, they managed to make something of it. Turchetta threw a touchdown pass to Tyler Pavalko with 4:20 to play in the second quarter. Myers' PAT hit the bottom of the goal post, and Central led, 16-10.

Athens would proceed to turn the ball over on downs on their ensuing possession and Central Mountain would score yet again. With a mere five seconds on the clock, Tyler Pavalko raced, untouched, into the endzone for the touchdown. Myers' extra point was good, and going into the locker room for halftime, Central was ahead 23-10.

The Athens Wildcat defense gave everything they had in the second half; much like they did in the first. But ultimately, this was not enough. Their offense, however, was on its way to redeeming itself on the first play of their second drive in the remaining half of the football game. On first and ten, Tyler Forbes ran 39 yards for the score. Stivason's PAT rang true, and Athens trailed, 23-17.

Central gave Athens a taste of their own medicine within the next minute. On the second play of their next drive, Turchetta and Pavalko teamed up again for another touchdown pass. Myers' kick was good, and with 3:33 left in the third quarter, Central Mountain extended their lead, 30-17.

The Athens' defense was unable to stop the impressive 88 yard touchdown run by English that was the highlight of the closing of the third quarter. Kathryn Myers and her extra point were again true, and the Wildcats took a good lead at 37-17.

To start off the fourth, Central Mountain did what they do best. On second and five on the ninth play of the series, Pavalko gained his third touchdown of the night with an easy six yard run with 9:37 left in the game. Myers' extra point was good, and Central continued to dominate, 44-17.

Although it wasn't easy, Athens regained their footing for their next drive. In third and two, with the clock reading 5:29, Forbes ran in the couple yards needed for the score. Stivason's extra point was true, and the Wildcats cut Central's lead to 44-24.

The back-and-forth pattern so familiar to this game continued with Central Mountain's next possession. A 44 yard pass from Bryce Bitner to Cody Barner helped to set the Wilcats up at their own 8 yard line. From here, Alex Honetor ran in for the score with just over two minutes to play. Myers' PAT was no good, but Central still led, 50-24.

The score was set on Athens' final drive. An illegal substitution flag on the defense gave the Wildcats and advantage that put them in a position to score. On first and five with 51 seconds left, Barry threw the touchdown pass to Stag Shadduck. Stivason's PAT was good, and the scoreboard read 50-31.

Central Mountain's Nigel English led all rushers with 269 yards on 20 carries and adding one touchdown. Following behind him was Athens' Tyler Forbes with 106 yards on 17 carries.

Athens is at Sayre next week to take on the Redskins and Central Mountain travels to Jersey Shore.