Function of Beauty

Jayne runs for 5 TDs in Athens' 46-0 win over Cowanesque Valley.

By: Tim Birney | Valley Sports Report | August 26, 2017


ATHENS — Senior Zach Jayne ran for five TDs in the first half to lead Athens to a 39-0 cushion en route to a 46-0 season-opening win over Cowanesque Valley in non-divisional NTL football action Friday night at Alumni Stadium.

"It was the 'Zach Jayne Show' early on," said longtime Athens coach Jack Young. "We came in here with a very simple game plan. We wanted to throw the ball, and we wanted to spread it around, but the game plan was simple. We didn't want to do anything fancy.

"Zach just has great vision, he made a couple cuts that were real nice," noted Young. "We ran a couple of our zone running plays, and he did a great job reading what the guys up front were doing for him.

"We executed our running game real well for the first quarter-and-a-half until things got a little bit out of hand, then we were trying some other things," added Young.

The first 24 minutes couldn't have been much better for the Wildcats, said Young.

"We played a very good first half. We were efficient on offense, and forced a couple turnovers on defense."

Senior Dylan Wolfe returned the opening kickoff 52 yards to the CV 34, then Jayne broke free on a TD run on the first play from scrimmage. Cory Stivason's PAT kick gave the Wildcats a 7-0 lead just 20 seconds into the game.

The Indians' first possession netted five yards on five plays, before Wildcat senior Matt Robbins pounced on a fumble at the CV 25.

After runs on nine yards by Jayne, and eight yards by sophomore Damian Hudson, Jayne scored on a 9-yard run. Stivason's second PAT made it 14-0 with 8:49 left in the second quarter.

After the Athens defense forced a three-and-out, Jayne capped a six-play, 57-yard drive with a 5-yard TD run to make it 20-0 with 4:57 left in the first quarter. The drive featured a 16-yard pass from junior QB Kaden Rude to junior fullback Nick Watkins, a 10-yard run by Rude, and an 11-yard run by Watkins.

After another CV three-and-out, Rude connected on a 34-yard pass to Stivason, then Jayne broke loose on a 31-yard scoring jaunt. Junior Aric Westbrook's PAT kick made it 27-0 with 3:11 left in the first quarter.

Two plays later, sophomore linebacker Dawson Leiser came up with his first of two interceptions in the game, but fumbled it back to the Indians.

The Wildcat defense responded and came up with another stop, and the Athens offense kept pouring it on wth a nine-play, 72-yard scoring drive to make it 33-0.

Rude opened the possession with a 13-yard pass to Jory Woodward, and later had an 11-yard completion to Wolf, and a 21-yard completion to Robbins. Hudson capped the drive with a 29-yard TD run with 8:14 left in the first half.

Moments later, Hudson broke loose on a 61-yard punt return to the CV 4. Jayne quickly covered the final four yards to make it 39-0 with 5:22 remaining in the first half.

Watkins capped the scoring early in the second half with a 3-yard TD run. Westbrook's PAT kick provided the final margin.

Jayne rushed for 106 yards on just 11 carries, and Hudson collected 159 yards and one TD on 14 carries. The Wildcats ran for 297 yards on 39 carries.

Rude completed 7 of 9 pass attempts for 113 yards, completing passes to six different receivers. Robbins hauled in two receptions for 37 yards to lead the Wildcats.

CV rushed for just 17 yards on 23 carries, led by Matt Barber, who had 16 yards on six carries.

CV QB Seth Huyler completed 8 of 19 pass attempts for 77 yards, but was intercepted twice.

Young was pleased with his team's effort on defense.

"We won the field-position battle most of the night.

"We did give up one pass play in the first half, and (CV) got down into the red zone, but we got a stop with an interception," noted Young. "We just kept getting stops tonight … our defense played very well.

"They have a couple players who can make plays, and we kind of eliminated them," added Young.

The Wildcats will host North Penn (1-0), a 14-10 winner over Northwest Area Friday night.

"Hopefully, this win helps us build confidence," said Young. "We need to get better and better for next week because we have a pretty good football team in North Penn coming here."


About the Author

Tim Birney Author Bio
Tim Birney

Tim Birney is the founder/owner of Valley Sports Report, which covers high school and youth sports in the Sayre and Athens, PA and Waverly and Tioga, NY school districts.

Birney, a 1988 graduate of Utica College of Syracuse University, spent nearly 20 years as a Sports Writer at the Daily Review and Evening/Morning Times.

He founded Valley Sports Report in August of 2009.