ATHENS — The Henderson Lions, led by senior running back Randy Davis and quarterback Zach Boles, knocked off the Athens Hornets with an impressive 36-20 victory at Bruce Field to kickoff the 2014 season on Friday.
Davis rushed 15 times and picked up 149 yards and scored three TDs, while his sidekick Boles complemented the attack by hitting 5 out of 7 passes for 106 yards. He also rushed for 79 yards on 12 carries.
The loss snapped a 13-game regular season winning streak for the Hornets.
The beginning of the game was delayed by about 30 minutes due to weather conditions.
Athens went into the second quarter leading 3-0 but Henderson snatched the lead back on the ensuing drive. With the ball at their own 41, Boles tested the young inexperienced secondary of Athens and connected with La'Kendrick Vanzandt for 15 yards, followed by 40-yeard toss to Trestan Ebner. Then Boles took matters into his own hands and got into the end zone from one yard out. Davis added the two-point conversion run to make the score 8-3.
The Hornets responded and regained the lead after they put together a 12-play, 90-yard drive. They were assisted by two 15-yard personal foul penalties that keep the drive alive, including one on fourth down. After a 30-yard run by Travon Fuller that put the Hornets at the Lions 25, he found the end zone four plays later on an 11 yard run to give Athens the 10-8 lead.
Henderson scored again on its next drive and the PAT kick was blocked and Kynden Crist ran the ball back 84 yards to pull the Hornets within two going into intermission, 14-12. That was close as the Hornets would get to Henderson.
The Lions started to pull away in the second half. On their first possession of the third quarter, the Lions used two plays that covered 61 yards. Davis finally broke the long run that he was looking for as he raced 53 yards for the score. Henderson's defense stiffened and kept the Hornets offense off track until Logan Fuller of the Hornets ran it in from one yard out.
Henderson, however, scored two more times with TDs from Ebner on a 5 yard run and Davis punched it in again for the third time of the night from four yards out.
Fuller led the Hornets with 26 carries for 162 yards and a TD to pace the Hornets.