ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – Athens found itself down against Class 6A foe Fort Payne on Friday night but the Golden Eagles were not out of it.
With time ticking away, quarterback Brogan Gross went 5-for-5 on the game-winning drive as time expired.
Then his dad, head coach Cody Gross decided to go for the win instead of kicking the extra point, they got the two-point conversion and the Golden Eagles got the walk-off 29-28 win over the Wildcats. For that, Athens is the Week Nine Tyler Mann Team of the Week!
“We kind of had the momentum, and just wanted to while we kind of had them almost reeling because we had just taken the ball down the field and we wanted to go ahead and take a shot and give our guys a chance to go win it,” Athens football head coach Cody Gross said.
“I walked on the field and I had a smile on my face because I knew that something special was about to happen. I was actually on the sideline and I was waiting for the PAT and [Coach Gross] calls the timeout and then he yells my name and I’m like OK, we’re going to go win this. I have all of the faith in them, the line gave me a lot of time, I didn’t feel any pressure, receivers made plays and I just felt like we do it every Wednesday, minute man, work on it and I just felt like I was playing football, didn’t feel much pressure. It prepares us because they’re not a region game but they’re a good team and it prepares us for the playoffs so we can make a run like we want to,” Athens junior quarterback Brogan Gross added.
“The first half, we held them to two field goals which was tremendous, that helped the game a lot and just doing that, from week one to now, we’re a completely different defense. It’s a lot of momentum going into playoffs for sure, that’s huge,” Athens senior linebacker Jake McDonald said.
“We scored actually in about 25 seconds to end the first half without having to use a time-out after they had gone up 13-0. And then we got there at the end of the game and we had two drives in a minute-man situation, honestly because we tied it up with about two minutes left and then we had to go take the lead again as it expired so Brogan was very composed. It was huge because Fort Payne can throw it all over the place and now this week we’ve got Russellville, you look at what we’re facing defensively, you saw someone that can throw it all over the place, and now you’re going to see someone that can also throw it but they are a hard-nosed, downhill running team so those two things should help us as we get ready to go to Oxford for the first round [of the playoffs],” Cody Gross added.
Athens improves to 7-2 and will wrap up the regular season hosting Russellville on Friday.