,MADISON, Alabama -- Bob Jones was on the losing end of the field position battle for the bulk of the first half of Thursday night’s Madison Bowl against visiting Athens.
Three possessions netted the Patriots only 33 yards, much of which came deep in their own end. The Golden Eagles, meanwhile, spent time in Bob Jones territory on each of their first three drives.
But the Patriots’ defense didn’t break, and eventually, it created some opportunities for the offense. Bob Jones recovered fumbles on consecutive Athens possessions -- the second of which led to the game’s first touchdown -- as it went on to a 28-7 victory at Madison City Schools Stadium.
“Sometimes all it takes is one play by one player to give everyone some confidence,” Patriots coach Kevin Rose said.
Darius Brewton got the first of his two recoveries near midfield with 7:30 to go in the first half. The Bob Jones offense advanced inside the Golden Eagles’ 20, but it eventually stalled and missed wide left on a 28-yard field goal attempt.
Two plays later, though, Ryan Crooks sliced through the line and stripped the ball away from Athens quarterback William Mathews. Brewton picked it up and worked his way inside the Golden Eagles’ 10-yard line.
Kevin Wright ran the remaining six yards on the next snap to give the Patriots a 7-0 lead with 3:48 remaining in the second quarter.
“A short field is always good for an offense,” Rose said. “From there, we just started playing a little better.”
Bob Jones added its second score with 21.6 seconds left before intermission. Quarterback Trey Bates found Ben Washington in the corner of the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown, capping off a nine-play, 53-yard drive that saw the Patriots convert a pair of fourth downs.
Athens answered with a touchdown late in the third quarter. Three plays after Bolton Patton intercepted a Bates pass, sophomore Derick Teague scooted into the end zone from five yards out.
Bob Jones quickly responded on its next possession, thanks in large part to a 39-yard run by Jay Rogers. Two plays after the junior was wrestled out of bounds, Bates found Washington with a 20-yard touchdown pass.
The Patriots scored their final touchdown with 5:03 to play on a 30-yard run by Kevin Carter.